Renault Sells Russian Assets for 1 Rouble, Moscow Takes Over to Revive Moskvitch

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
renault sells russian assets for 1 rouble moscow takes over to revive moskvitch

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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6 of 37 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on May 17, 2022

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • Jeff S Jeff S on May 18, 2022

      @jkross22--Russian food sounds very unappetizing to me. I'll take my potatoes in the form of vodka.

  • Ravenuer Ravenuer on May 18, 2022

    First time I've seen "ruble" spelled "rouble".

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.