MAZ and KamAZ resume talks on a merger.
An expert of NSN news agency is sure that the parties won't reach an agreement, though the deal would be profitable.
Acting commercial director of the Minsk-based plant Siarhei Zakharevich said Belarus and Russia planned to return to discussing a possibility of forming the alliance of two truck manufacturers – KamAZ and MAZ. According to him, a special group was created to consider variants of the cooperation at the intergovernmental level. The group is expected to meet in the middle of August.
“It seems unreal for political reasons,” Igor Morzharetto, the deputy editor-in-chief of Za Rulem magazine, thinks. “These talks have been continuing for almost 30 years. They begin, continue for a time, face the necessity to take a decision and stop. Lukashenka or a prime minister says: 'MAZ is our national heritage. We cannot obey the Russians!' It is followed by a pause of a year or two.”
“The merger is profitable for all parties, first of all for the Belarusians, because KamAZ's production output is 3 or 4 times higher than MAZ's one,” Morzharetto stresses. “It is profitable, because domestic networks are getting united. It allows saving money. Another advantage is new engineering ideas: MAZ has its own, KamAZ has its own. If they unite, they won't spend money and will use them together.”
According to the expert, “KamAZ is in a better state now, because it now has a long-term partner that produces Mercedes and Mitsubishi trucks at KamAZ. Mercedes allowed KamAZ trucks to have a new cab. Belarus refuse to merger with KamAZ on 3/1 conditions. KamAZ's output is 3 times as high, it costs three times as much, but Lukashenka insists on the 1/1 merger.”
“Politics defeats economics in this situation,” Morzheratto says. “MAZ can lose the Russian market if it resists Russia for too long. At the same time, MAZ cannot get access to the global market due to sanctions and it is difficult to enter markets of third countries alone. In Russia and in Belarus, politics prevail over economics, but it is MAZ that will be most hit by failure of the merger.”