By on May 17, 2022

News surfaced yesterday that Renault has decided to sell its Russia operations and stake in Lada for the grand sum of 1 rouble (or double that amount, depending on the source). For those playing at home, a single unit of Russian currency is presently worth 1.5 cents in America as of this writing.

Following that announcement, reporters at The Moscow Times said the country quickly nationalized a major factory belonging to Renault, marking one of (if not the) first major transfer of private assets into state control since the invasion of Ukraine.

What does Russia plan to do with the facility? Kickstart production of the Moskvitch, of course.

“I’ve decided to list the factory as the city’s asset and resume production under the historical brand Moskvitch,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced in a statement. “In 2022, we will open a new page in the history of the Moskvitch,” he went on to say. The heavy equipment brand KAMAZ is tapped to become a primary technological partner in the plant, one whose production lines will apparently produce ‘classic cars’ with internal combustion engines before allegedly turning to all-electrics at some point in the future.

Your author highly doubts the term ‘classic cars’ means we will suddenly see a proliferation of Cold War-era Moskvitch sedans popping out of the factory, a vehicle whose tooling is surely long worn out and recycled into washing machines. Rather, it’s surely a reference to what other parts of the world call ‘legacy automobiles’ – ones that burn gasoline or diesel instead of humming along with a belly full of electrons. Still, in this wildly unpredictable geopolitical climate, anything can happen.

The plant is said to have produced models like the Logan and Duster, plus the Sandero – a model which became popular in an ironic lens thanks to James May and his good news. For what it’s worth, Mr. Mayor has said they will try to keep “most” of the existing team working directly at the plant or with its suppliers. Renault has been inside those doors since the late ‘90s.

As for pulling out of the place, it seems Renault simply ceded its two-thirds stake in AvtoVAZ with an option to buy it back within six years. Elsewhere, fast-food giant McDonald’s has announced they’re packing up shop and selling its 850 Russian locations to a local buyer who has promised all the restaurants will reopen in June under a new brand with a similar menu. That’s probably the first and last time TTAC will report on the minutiae of a fast-food joint.

Renault’s exit is expected to place a 2.2 billion Euro ($2.32b USD) writedown on their books.

[Image: Renault]

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37 Comments on “Renault Sells Russian Assets for 1 Rouble, Moscow Takes Over to Revive Moskvitch...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These large companies are certainly doing the PC thing, but their pullouts indicate consensus that Russia will be in the dog house for years to come. :(

    • 0 avatar
      Veeg

      What’s PC about it?

      The businesses decided it wasn’t worth it and bailed. The free market at work. Thought you conservatives loved the free market.

      And who gives a damn if Russia is in the doghouse?

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        International companies went to Russia to make money. McDonald’s was there for 32 years, meaning they arrived the minute the cold war ended.

        Hard-nosed CEOs could say “we’re staying because Russians love our products”, but it is indeed politically correct to leave during an unpopular war.

        They didn’t suddenly change their mind about the investment strategy. It’s just easier to take a $2 billion loss than explain why you intend to ride it out.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Don’t always assume it’s the Westerners making the decisions.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          McDonalds first opened in Russia in January of 1990. It was the Canadian McDonalds’ operations that opened up in Russia. George Cohon had negotiated with the Soviets for over a decade to get the deal done.

          The Soviet Union did not fall until December 1991.

          So McDonalds was operating under and with the permission of the Soviet government.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    We’re dealing with a country that invaded a neighbor the sheer f**k of it. Who’s to say they won’t just “nationalize” the company’s assets for the sheer f**k of it too?

    And let’s say the Putin regime ends up falling over the Ukraine debacle…what replaces it?

    Lots of uncertainty here. I don’t blame Renault for doing this one bit…or Nissan, who seems poised to do the same.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      I don’t blame Renault either but there are some that believe Putin was right in invading Ukraine and that Ukraine is a Nazi regime. Never thought in my lifetime I would see that.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Eighty years ago that nice Jewish boy Zelensky would have been on the same train to Auschwitz my family was. Today, he’s the head of state of a Nazi nation. And who says miracles don’t happen?

        In all seriousness, given the history of the endless abuses heaped on Ukrainians by Russia (the Holodomor, Soviet rule, and on and on), what kind of drugs was Putin on when he came to the conclusion that Ukrainians would welcome this invasion with open arms? Has he never cracked a history book?

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          When I visited Ukraine (and Chernobyl) in 2019, the distaste for the Soviets and the Russians was tangible.

          They were already in the 6th year of the war in Crimea, with many thousands already killed. Chernobyl is a daily reminder of the failed Soviet system, and Ukraine was left holding the bag for all eternity.

          Ukrainians have tasted freedom for 30 years, and they will never, ever give up the fight to keep it.

          Putin need only look at Afghanistan 1979-89 to see how Ukraine will go for him.

        • 0 avatar
          Greg Hamilton

          Freed,
          Sorry to hear about your family. My great grandfather was also placed on a train to Auschwitz from Italy, due to him being a U.S. citizen he was taken off the train at SS headquarters and died under torture. His story is similar to the film, “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” except they left the torture part out. May those types of occurrences never be repeated.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      As much as I’ve always hated Russia and detest what they’re doing in the Ukraine, it wasn’t for the sheer f**k of it.

      The Ukraine refused to re-new the deal with Russia, limiting their weapon capacity. They then announced they’d be joining NATO. Russia considers NATO to be their primary threat and the Ukraine was a buffer zone to NATO. This was too much for Putin, so he chose to do something about it.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Russia conveniently forgets that if not for their past bad behavior there would be no need for NATO to exist at all. Their butthurt reaction to pieces of their former empire joining an organization to resist Russian aggression remind me of an abusive ex-husband’s outrage when he finds out his ex bought a gun.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          Just like the abusive husband doesn’t want to be intimated by the ex buying a gun to protect herself Russia doesn’t want to be intimated by the ex Soviet Satellite that was abused by Russia fighting back to protect its independence. Sounds similar to our own fight for independence from Great Britain.

      • 0 avatar
        96redse5sp

        “Genius” Putin had started to make plans to invade Ukraine after they toppled his buddy (and Lukashenko-wannabe) Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. That’s the major reason he illegally interfered in our election in 2014 in order to get Trump into the White House. Putin spent several years laying the groundwork for the invasion (see the so-called “Gerasimov Doctrine”) and had planned for the invasion to take place during Trump’s second term – to give Trump enough time to destabilize NATO, to alienate our European allies, and to have the US withdraw from NATO. Thank God Biden won in 2020!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @brn:
        So Ukraine joins NATO…I don’t see how that threatens the sovereignty of a country with enough nuclear weapons to remove the crust of planet Earth.

        (Though I’ll add this: if their nukes work as well as the rest of their military does, maybe that threat is overrated. I read somewhere that the reason why the USSR insisted on having more nukes was that they knew most of them were junk and wouldn’t work. Typical Russian thinking.)

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @brn:

        “Ukraine was a buffer zone to NATO”

        After Russia invades Ukraine, then there is no buffer zone. I’m not sure that’s the real reason for this invasion.

      • 0 avatar
        sumgai1986

        That’s some next level domestic abuser logic there.

        “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll hit you, and it will be your fault you got hit”

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Why did the US invade Panama?

      Just Cause

      Ba Dum crash

      I’m here til Tuesday

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        “Why did the US invade Panama?”

        Answer: Because Panama said Noriega to drugs.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Leaving aside whether the U.S. was right to go after Noriega or not, there’s a huge difference between that and what Russia is doing in Ukraine. Russia clearly wants to re-annex Ukraine or make it into a puppet state, which was not how the U.S. handled Panama. Once Noriega was out, so were the U.S. troops.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Once all those not acting purely as puppets if the Russian ruling clique are “out” of Ukraine, Russia will no doubt be out of there, too. No different from US ruling clique and Panama.

          Ukraine is 10-100 times larger than Panama. And Russia smaller than the US. So prudency may force the Kremlin to settle for “non-puppets out” of only a part of Ukraine.

          But aside from that, there’s no difference. At least aside from Ukraine being Russia’s neighbor. Which, while hardly justifying Russia intervening there, at least makes intervention for “security reaasons” _more_ “justifiable,” than US for-the-f-of-it invasions of countries like Panama, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Vietnam. Or, for that matter, Russians ones of countries like Syria and Libya.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yeah, there is a difference – no matter how much of Ukraine the Russians succeed in taking, the war is a land grab. Panama wasn’t.

            The U.S. hasn’t had a true land grab war since the war with Spain. U.S. wars tend to be more about spreading or preserving its’ sphere of influence. Panama was an excellent example of this – the U.S. got rid of Noriega and got out. The countries that the U.S. ended up occupying through war – think Germany and Japan – became self-governing but part of the American sphere of influence. The same thing was tried in Iraq and Afghanistan, and failed.

            Worth noting: Russia is a European country, where land grabs are part of a thousand-year-old tradition. Both world wars are perfect examples.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          It’s called a joke man. The invasion was called…wait for it…Operation Just Cause.

          But on a serious note, what happened to the antiwar movement in this country? Must be a joke too.

  • avatar

    I would not take whatever Russian officials say seriously. They have no idea what they are talking about. Dmitry Rogozin promised lot of thing and nothing came through except of stolen money in his Swiss bank account. We are dealing with gang of thieves here. Someone makes a lot of money from war machine.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Someone needs to call the suits at TTAC’s corporate overlord(s). It appears someone has spoofed TTAC and it is now TTAR&U. Rolls right off the tongue.

    Luckily only the experts will chime in. I’ll bet someone a delicious bowl of borscht that less than 5% of the people who comment in this thread have ever been to Russia or Ukraine, myself included.

    And I’m kidding about the borscht. It’s disgusting. At least the version I had during Passover 20 years ago. It came in Manischewitz jar, looked awful and tasted worse. I also hate gefilte fish and chopped liver. What was wrong with these people??? And by these people, I mean those who like this food.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Cool…Guess I’m allowed to comment then!

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      “And I’m kidding about the borscht. It’s disgusting. At least the version I had during Passover 20 years ago. It came in Manischewitz jar, looked awful and tasted worse. I also hate gefilte fish and chopped liver. What was wrong with these people??? And by these people, I mean those who like this food.”

      Maybe that is why the Russians are in such a bad mood and want to fight. If you have to eat like that all the time wouldn’t it put you in a bad mood?

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Jeff, I’d be furious. Especially with social media and the pictures of pizza, Thai food, blueberry pie, a bowl of prosperity at any hippy restaurant… everything looks better than borscht and unquestioningly tastes better. Although chopped liver gives borscht a run for its beets at the lowest rung on the bottom feeders of the cuisine world.

        Russians, come at me! Ukrainians, you guys too. Defend your culinary catastrophes.

        I don’t want to hear anything about “it’s nostalgia food” as an excuse. Bad is bad.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    First time I’ve seen “ruble” spelled “rouble”.

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