Bo Andersson joined Russia's struggling No. 1 automaker, AvtoVAZ, as CEO in January after four successful years at the country's second-largest vehicle maker, GAZ Group. Since arriving at AvtoVAZ's headquarters in Togliatti, Andersson has been working seven days a week to turn the Lada maker into a profitable member of the Renault-Nissan alliance. The room for improvement at AvtoVAZ is "massive," Andersson said. He shared some of his early accomplishments with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri.
What tops your agenda when you get to your Togliatti office on a Sunday?
Generally what I left behind during the week. Lately, it's our plan to move to build to order.
No automaker has achieved complete build to order. How can Lada do it?
Right now about 80 percent of Lada cars are built to order, but only 20 percent of these orders are from customers. The rest come from dealers. My aim by the end of this year is to have 70 percent of customers' cars built to order. This creates very big challenges on the logistical side.
What are you doing about inventory?
When I came here in January, Lada had 60 days of inventory, now we are at 47, but I want a further reduction. I’m worried not only by the quantity of inventory, but also the quality. If that is a wrong car, it won’t sell anyway. This is the reason why I’m pushing for build to order. AvtoVAZ’s old mentality was that of a production-oriented organization that pushed metal onto the dealer lots, no matter what happened later. We need to transform into a customer-driven organization if we want to succeed.