For Immediate Release: April 27, 2012
Contact: Tim Truman (202) 482-3809
Senior Commerce Official, U.S. Companies Conclude Automotive Trade Mission to Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Michelle O’Neill today concluded an automotive parts and components trade mission to Russia, which included site visits to the General Motors and Johnson Controls facilities. The 12-company U.S. delegation met with company officials to discuss the benefits and challenges of doing business in Russia. St. Petersburg was the mission’s final destination following visits to Moscow and Samara.
“It’s clear the Russian automotive sector offers great opportunity for American automotive parts and components suppliers to expand their exports,” O’Neill said. “Throughout our visit, the company representatives met with potential private sector partners to begin laying the groundwork for entering or expanding their businesses in this important marketplace.”
With sales of automobiles and trucks increasing at an annual rate of 30 percent, Russia is projected to become the largest automotive market in Europe in the next few years. Mission participants conducted more than 150 meetings with Russian companies exploring options for available parts and services.
“Our export business has been a significant part of our growth,” said Gregory Popp, vice president of sales and marketing for Cincinnati Test Systems, Inc. “Each new venture into an emerging market has its challenges, and knowing the business climate, the complexity of entry, and identification of top resources is essential. As a result of this mission, I have a better idea how to best approach the market and find the right people or distribution.”
“Participation in the trade mission has allowed me to significantly accelerate the timeline from initial contact with a potential customer to getting the first order,” said Oleg Gostomelsky, Hoosier Gasket Corporation Vice President for Eastern European Business Development.
“As a result of participating in the trade mission, I will be coming back within the next three weeks to visit two new prospective clients and further develop our level of support for the Russian automotive market,” said Inductoheat, Inc., Vice President of Heat Treating Rob Madeira.
On Thursday, O’Neill recognized a pair of St. Petersburg-based companies that have facilitated U.S. exports to Russia in the automotive sector by presenting Solex and AutoSportTuning with U.S. Department of Commerce Certificates of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade. Solex efforts have resulted in more than $300 million in sales for U.S. truck and spare parts manufacturers. Through its participation in the International Trade Administration’s International Buyer Program, AutoSportTuning has established partnerships with several U.S. automotive performance suppliers that resulted in more than $200,000 in American product sales in 2011.
This trade mission is an important Commerce Department activity designed to expand U.S. exports in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative and promote U.S.-Russia bilateral trade in 2012. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez will lead an energy efficiency trade mission to Moscow and St. Petersburg, June 4-7.
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