Sergey Kogogin, Director General of KAMAZ, spoke about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the company’s activities, as well as about the problems associated with the supply of imported components.
Speaking about working with suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sergey Kogogin noted that KAMAZ responded in February 2020 by creating an appropriate headquarters to control supplies. «I can say that European suppliers affected us more than Chinese ones, because Europe went into lockdown hard – I don’t remember such a number of incomplete cars from the assembly line at all. Relatively speaking, no mirrors came from England. Installing a mirror is a five-minute task, but when you do it in a warehouse environment, pulling people away from the production process, it becomes troublesome. There were a lot of such trifles – Sergey Kogogin told. – Problems with suppliers have managed to solve only at the expense of friendly relations. ZF, for example, took the most severe quarantine, but still took out people to ensure our shipments. This is unusual for a German business, but many years of partnership and personal relations with the company’s management have allowed us to resolve the issue. Our shareholder Daimler has also made efforts to ensure timely deliveries».
The Head of KAMAZ also stressed that the shutdown of the service network could lead to a collapse, since it is necessary to carry products and support the vital functions of cities in any conditions. «In the United States, for example, quarantine was introduced immediately with an exception for manufacturers of commercial vehicles. Realizing that restrictive measures cannot be avoided, we discussed with the team the prospects of working on weekends, and only thanks to the understanding of employees, we kept the volume of production, worked above the business plan and slightly above the level of 2019», – said Sergey Kogogin.
The impact on production processes is not yet fully understood, but a number of long-term steps have already been determined. «We will continue to face new challenges. The measures that we came to in 2020 will have to be fixed – in particular, the same infrared temperature sensors at the entrance gates. In Naberezhnye Chelny, for example, we increased the number of large buses for transporting staff to work by 48 units – this led to additional costs of hundreds of millions of rubles, but I consider this step more of a plus than a loss», – the company’s Director General said.