Today, the Moscow Motor show opened its doors its doors to the public. This time, it is the Russian of more modest means who has the attention of the world’s carmakers, keen to profit from one of Europe’s few growing markets,” says Reuters, reporting from the show.
Western carmakers target a growing mass-market in the 140 million country. Offerings “ range from the sub-$10,000 compacts which Renault and Nissan are pushing out under the rejuvenated, Soviet-era Lada brand of their Russian unit AvtoVaz to well-appointed, mid-range sedans and passenger vans aimed at the burgeoning middle class,” Reuters says.
The Mazda6 is the star of the show. “One of the curious things about the new car is just how large it is,” says just-auto [sub]. “Especially when it won’t be made in the US or sell in big numbers there, which would have made the dimensions understandable. Its 2,830mm wheelbase is only 20mm shorter than that of the soon to be replaced Ford Mondeo, and compares to 2,775mm for the Toyota Camry and 2,803mm for Volkswagen of America’s Passat/Shanghai VW’s New Passat (the famously lengthy first generation Škoda Superb also had a 2,803mm wheelbase).”
The really big ticket announcements were limited to investments by carmakers. Volkswagen announced plans to double its investment in Russia to 2 billion euros by 2018. For that, Reuters already called Volkswagen a bit prematurely “the world’s largest car maker.”
GM will also spend $1 billion over the next five years to ramp up output in Russia. GM plans to more than double production to 230,000 vehicles per year at its St Petersburg plant, and is seen raising out put at its Niva plant to 120,000 per year from 70,000.
Renault sees Russia to become its second largest market. Renault and Nissan signed a deal in May to take effective control of AvtoVAZ and wants to revive the Lada brand, Russia’s volume leader with nearly 600,000 sales last year. Says Reuters:
“The latest, curvy Lada Kalina supermini was shown off by young women in sporty minidresses. But the big selling point will be prices starting around 300,000 roubles – under $10,000. “