Scania AB won an order for 709 buses for the Winter Olympic games in Sochi next year, more than half the amount the Swedish truckmaker, controlled by Volkswagen AG, delivered in Europe last year.
GAZ, a unit of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, will produce the buses using Scania chassis at its plant near Moscow, the companies said today in a statement.
The contract has a value of about 6 billion rubles ($200 million), GAZ said. The buses will be delivered this year and used for transportation in Sochi during the Olympic games in the first quarter of 2014 before they’re put into service in the Moscow region, Scania said.
“Putting such a large number of buses into operation means that the Scania brand will receive wide exposure in Russia,” Hans Tardell, the managing director for Scania’s Russian unit, said in the statement.
Scania delivered 1,312 buses last year to European customers, a 32 percent decline from a year earlier, according to a company report. The Swedish automaker sold 43 buses in Russia in the first nine months of 2012, 87 percent more than the same period a year earlier.
GAZ’s Golitsyno plant near Moscow produced only 20 buses in the first nine months of 2012, down from more than 200 in each of the two previous year, according to company reports.
Sales of bus and coaches expanded 1.4 percent in the European Union in 2012 from a year earlier even as the Italian and French markets shrank, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said on Dec. 29. Russia’s bus market grew 14 percent to 3,616 in the first nine months of 2012 compared with a year earlier, according to a survey by the Association of European Businesses in Russia.