By Alexander Miller, consultant in emerging markets – Eurasia Business News, April 30, 2022

An electrobus CR12E produced by Volgabus.

Volgabus Group plans to produce about 1,000 new buses in the first half of 2022, which is three times more than in the whole of last year. If in 2021 the Russian manufacturer produced 340 buses, then in the first months of 2022 this figure was 241 units. The growth in production is primarily due to an increase in the number of orders.

At the moment, the company is fulfilling contracts that were concluded earlier. A portfolio of orders for the second half of the year has been formed, and we are ready to actively participate in new competitions. Therefore, we can say that this year we plan to grow at least three times, and as a maximum – four. The requests that exist now indicate that the demand does not stop,stated Alexey Bakulin, founder and CEO of Volgabus Group.

In addition, the Russian holding is considering the possibility of entering the Latin American market. Volgabus takes part in the second stage of the tender for the supply of buses to the Uruguayan company CUTCSA. “If we can properly organize service support there, then we have very good chances,” said Alexey Bakulin.

Alexey Bakulin gave an interview to the Russian daily Kommersant on April 13. He told journalists that, in spite of supply chains disruptions in the automotive industry :

We continue our activity. We have already produced 241 buses, and in 2021 – 340 for the whole year. But last year is not indicative for us, because then there was a structuring of business. Production began to work much more actively and was rebuilt at the end of the third – beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021. We have launched the production of cars on liquefied natural gas, on compressed natural gas. And we clearly defined the relationship between our two production assets, in Volgograd and Vladimir oblasts, and all this gave a significant effect, which is visible in the first quarter of 2022.”

Volgabus-Volzhsky is a Russian car manufacturer. It is located in the city of Volzhsky, in the Volgograd Oblast. Until 2008, the plant produced buses under the brand name “Volzhanin”.

Since 2008, the plant has been part of the Volgabus holding, called Volgabas Volzhsky and produces buses under the Volgabus brand. Since 2014, it has been part of the Bakulin Motors Group holding.

In 2017, the group opened a new production complex for the assembly of buses in the Vladimir oblast. The complex is designed for 650 workers. The planned volume of production of the first stage is up to 1,000 buses per year. The total planned production capacity is up to 2,500 buses per year. The total investment is estimated at 3.6 billion rubles, including state support of one billion rubles.

The Russian manufacturer of bus equipment supplied 200 car kits for assembling electric buses to France in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, another 40 will be delivered, said the company’s CEO Alexei Bakulin on March 29.

In 1996, Alexey Bakulin became Deputy General Director for Marketing and Finance of the Volzhanin Bus Plant. In 2002, he became General Director of the plant “Volzhanin”. In the same year, he headed the board of directors of the group. In 2006, Alexey Bakulin became the founder, main shareholder and CEO of Volgabus Holding. At the moment, he owns 18% of the holding’s shares.

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