The Taganrog Automobile Plant in the Russian city of Taganrong, near Rostov will unveil the new Vortex Estina at the Moscow Motor Show next week. Vortex Estina is a Chery A5 sedan with a new name.
Tagaz, which is mainly engaged in the assembly of various Hyundai models at its plant for many years, has contemplated its product portfolio last year with the addition of old Ssangyong models, rebranded for the Russian market.
As the company diversifies itself, it found a new partner in China: fast-growing Chery, which was ditched by its Russian partner, Avtotor earlier this year. Chery, which considered setting up its own plant, will use the Taganrog facility to continue its expansion into Russia. Estina, a rebranded Chery A5 will be followed by the Tiggo SUV. Up to now the Chery A5, called locally the Fora was available on the Russian market as a fully-built import.
September 17, 2008 - Russia's TagAZ has unveiled a new revamped clone of a Chery car made in China, the Vortex Estina. The company has upgraded the Chery Fora to make it stronger and more reliable, TagAZ officials said.
The Taganrog Car plant (TagAZ) is releasing the compact sedan to dealers this month and started assembly in July. Vortex Estina sedans are available in two versions, both with gasoline engines — the base 1.6-liter engine with 119 horsepower and the 2.0-liter engine with 136 hp.
Both models come equipped with front side airbags, power steering, ABS, onboard computer, radio and alarm systems.
The 1.6-liter engine model is expected to sell for the equivalent of $16,000, while the 2.0-liter version can be purchased for about $18,300.
Local assembly of the Chery Fora is part of a joint venture between Chery and TagAZ, inked in June, which also includes the assembly of the Chery Tiggo crossover. Both vehicles were to be assembled in Avtotor plant in Kaliningrad, but the plant was closed down in March because of what factory officials called "uncongenial import regulations."
TagAZ officials told Inside Line that the Taganrog plant will build about 150,000 cars annually, adding that most cars will go through the full production cycle at the plant, including body works and painting.
The Fora is one of the most popular Chery models in Russia, second only to the Amulet sedan, according to the Moscow-based Avtostart agency, which monitors car sales. Chery sold 2,046 Fora sedans in the first half of 2008, representing 20.7 percent of total company sales.
However, sales of all Chery models in Russia plummeted 47 percent to 9,891 cars in the first half of this year since the closure of production at the Avtotor plant, according to figures from the same agency.