DETROIT -- Former General Motors purchasing chief Bo Andersson has added the title of president of GAZ Group just a few weeks after being elected chairman of the Russian automaker.
This puts more pressure on me to perform, Andersson told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News Friday. I like that.
He is responsible for strategic decision making with day-to-day responsibilities.
Reporting to Andersson is Sergey Zanozin, CEO of GAZ, who will focus on sales and dealership development for the company based in Nizhny Novgorod. Andersson will work at the company headquarters roughly 300 miles east of Moscow.
GAZ Group is controlled by metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who has been active in the global auto industry and once owned a significant stake in Canadian-Austrian supplier Magna International Inc.
If Magna wins the bidding for GM German subsidiary Opel, GAZ is poised to have strong industrial ties with the company. Magna's future plans for Opel heavily rely on strengthening the brand's position in Russia.
Anderson, 53, group vice president of purchasing and supply chain at GM until June 12, said GAZ has lots of opportunities but faces challenges.
He had high marks for his employees, but says the company needs to be leaner and more competitive with a focus on quality and cost, especially a need to do a better job in powertrain and components.
His supply base totals about 600, or less than half of GMs North American supply base. GAZ is vertically integrated. It builds its own seating and stamps its own parts.
But that has turned out to be strength, he says. GAZ buys most of its components and raw materials with rubles, while his competitors have to deal with foreign currency and the ruble may be weakening, he says.