Renault Joins AvtoVAZ Bailout

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
renault joins avtovaz bailout

Renault may be playing Russian Roulette, but at least it seems the French automaker is finally playing nicely with Avtovaz and the Kremlin. Maybe the thought of ending up like Mikhail Khodorkovsky spurred Carlos Ghosn into action? Or maybe Ghosn came around when he found out that the Kremlin is going to put $1.7 billion into the ailing Russian car maker. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Renault will invest a mere €300 million in the form of of a technology transfer so that Avtovaz can start building the Logan, Renault’s smash hit in Eastern Europe. It’s like the Fiat-Chrysler deal, only cheaper! Renault will also help Avtovaz develop a new car to replace the Zhiguli (I’d never heard of it, either). Some of this production will happen in Russia’s far east and Renault’s Japanese subsidiary is there to help!

“Moreover, AvtoVAZ, with the help of Renault — in this case I am referring to its Japanese unit Nissan — will launch car production in the Russian Far East,” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said. Nissan will put forward €60 million of €300 million Renault pledged. Curiously, Autovaz also has goals which it must attain to keep this help flowing in. AvtoVAZ’s market share must not drop below 25%, with 70% of that figure made up of Lada sales. A bailout with clearly defined goals? That’s novel!

In completely unrelated news, Vladimir Putin and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon met up for a 2 day meeting which involved the signing of a number of agreements, which included, Electricité de France buying a 10% stake in the South Stream pipeline. It’s nice to see Franco-Russian relations warming, but as petrolheads this doesn’t bring much to our table. Who’s excited at the prospect of car engineered by Renault, built by Avtovaz and sporting a Lada badge?

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  • Kristjan Ambroz Kristjan Ambroz on Dec 03, 2009

    The Zhiguli is the standard, Fiat 124 based Lada - one of the top 10 selling cars of all time IIRC - so not having heard of it at TTAC???

  • Garak Garak on Dec 03, 2009

    I don't think they'll ever manage to kill the Zhiguli, they'll probably just update it a bit and keep it in production. The ancient Lada engine is already capable of Euro-4 emissions, so most likely they'll just tweak it to reach Euro-5 and add air bags, ABS & stability control to meet minimum safety requirements, and just keep selling the ancient car. And yes, Zhiguli is that classic boxy Fiat 124-based Lada sold as the 1200/1300/1500/1600/1700 or Riva on export markets.

  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
  • Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.
  • The Oracle Good news is that based on the model years many of these have already been junked or experienced terminal engine failure.