Home Home Home

Focus on the Future Conference: "Inside Russia: Understanding Russia’s Current and Future Automotive Industry"

April 16, 2014 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Sponsor: Focus on the Future Conferences

University of Michigan, The Michigan League, Michigan Ballroom (2nd Floor)

911 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265

In this conference we examine the last of the four BRIC countries that analysts expect to be the major markets for growth in the global auto industry.  Russia has always been an enigma because of its history of Soviet-style production that did not focus on the continuous improvement movement of the 1980s and 1990s, or developing an automotive market.  Since the opening up of the market, companies have cautiously entered the market through joint ventures or exporting to Russia.  The industry today offers an interesting combination of established global auto manufacturers, joint venture companies made up of Russian and foreign manufacturers, and many companies exporting to Russia including the Chinese manufacturers.

As with all of our country-specific conferences, we will discuss not only the auto industry but the parts of Russia that are directly related to the auto industry such as Russia's economy, environmental regulations, business environment, labor, and government support for the industry.  Considering the recent events in Russia, we expect an interesting discussion about the effects of the proposed annexation of Crimea on business in Russia.

Some of the key questions we will address include:  What will be the effects, if any, of foreign restraints of trade with Russia on companies already building vehicles in or exporting vehicles to Russia?  What are the growth prospects for the market over the next five to ten years?  What regulations are in place concerning emissions and other automotive-related activities and what are the trends going forward?

To answer these questions we have invited manufacturers, suppliers, government, and academic speakers to address these issues, and we hope you can join us to add to the discussion.


Confirmed speakers include:

Bruce Belzowski, Automotive Analysis, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, will introduce the key issues and moderate the conference.

David Teolis, Senior Manager, Economic and Industry Forecasting--International, General Motors Corporation will discuss his experience in European forecasting including GM's forecast for Russia.

John Branch, Professor, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, will provide insight into the Russian auto industry based on a research project that looked at the current and future Russian auto  industry, including customer information.

Ekaterina MishinaVisiting Professor from the National Research University in Moscow, University of Michigan Political Science Department, will talk about her work in the legal issues foreign companies face when working in Russia, as well as her take on the events taking place in Russia.


Companies or groups interested in sponsoring this conference, please contact Bruce Belzowski at or 734-936-2704. Sponsorship Amount (Minimum $2,500)