Category: Russia

By on September 5, 2018

Image: Lada

We’ve all seen movies set in the perpetually grey, bitterly cold Soviet Union (later Hollywood films featuring Russia were apparently allowed to show sunlight), but if you lived north of the border a few decades ago, it wasn’t just the weather that looked familiar.

Lada Canada imported Iron Curtain cars for two decades (1979 to 1997), offering rudimentary, pinko automobiles to Canadian cheapskates for very few kopeks. Your author recalls entering the high school library at the dawn of the internet age and slowly booting up the Lada Canada website, where a five-door Samara was advertised for $4,995. Few of these showed up on local roads, as Hyundai offered slightly better no-cost transportation options.

However, there was one Lada vehicle that can truly be considered a classic, and it’s the one everyone remembers best. Sadly, after more than 40 years of production, the virtually unchanged Niva (now known simply as the 4×4) seems destined, like the Berlin Wall, to pass into history. Read More >

By on August 23, 2018

Image: Kalashnikov

You don’t have to be from a former Eastern Bloc country to feel strange pangs of desire for this Russian one-off. Built by Kalashnikov — yes, that Kalashnikov — the CV-1 concept car features an old body concealing an advanced electric powertrain.

The maker of the AK-47, AK-74, and various other automatic small arms apparently wants to stamp out Tesla’s decadent invasion of the Motherland’s fledgling EV market. Read More >

By on February 15, 2018

Image: Lada

U.S. light vehicle sales sunk slightly in 2017 after years of increases, and this year’s not looking any different. In Russia, however, it’s the opposite situation. After making like the Germans at Stalingrad for the past three years, the Russian car market is now advancing like a T-34 tank — and it has the country’s most famous car brand to thank for it.

Leading the pack is none other than Lada, a company known for cranking out archaic, seemingly indestructible Iron Curtain cars for decades with only minimal changes. That was then, though, and this is now. Spurred by a rebounding economy, sales of new Lada models helped Renault-owned parent company Avtovaz drastically cut its losses in 2017.

Lada’s top brass can give credit to a very Western product strategy. Read More >

By on July 17, 2017

2017 Cadillac Escalade

If Cadillac’s top boss, Johan de Nysschen, had his way, The Hunt for Red October would feature a scene in which Capt. Vasili Borodin describes his dream of seeing the United States in an Escalade, not an recreational vehicle.

While General Motors’ luxury division counts on American and Chinese buyers to keep it flush with cash, there’s still room in the fold for other markets. Assuming, of course, those citizens have a willingness to cast off deep-seated consumer habits and, perhaps, prejudices.

After dropping pedestrian vehicles for an all-prestige lineup, GM’s conquest of the Russian luxury market hasn’t yet occurred, though it’s still early days. Sales are looking up. With a new partner in tow, Cadillac feels confident it can muscle out the Germans on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Read More >

By on March 24, 2017

auto curling

Maybe it’s the cold, the dodgy economy, or lingering memories of decades spent lining up for milk. Whatever the motivation, Russians don’t seem to need the latest and greatest high-tech gadget to help them pass the time. Nope, just grab a few friends, spend a few rubles amassing a collection of ancient hatchbacks, and hit the ice.

The winter of 2017 has brought an inventive new sport to the frozen wastes of the Motherland, and locals can thank a plethora of worthless, Soviet-era crapwagons for the entertainment. Apparently, there are automobiles worth less than stones. Read More >

By on January 30, 2017

kremlin_moscow russia (Wikimedia commons)

Everyone loves a good mystery, and in Russia it seems there are many. Read up on the Dyatlov Pass incident if you’re looking for a reason not to go camping.

In the country where a bearded charlatan once inspired a great disco song, something odd has cropped up in recent months. Moscow motorists, when not surviving serious collisions in subpar vehicles without a scratch, have noticed that their GPS device will suddenly re-position its location when driving near the Kremlin.

The closer to the Kremlin, the more likely the device will suddenly find an alternative location to exist. In every instance, the location is the same: Vnukovo Airport, 20 miles from the seat of government. Read More >

By on January 20, 2017

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE350, Image: © 2016 Steve Lynch/The Truth About Cars

Russia, the country where Shoviet Shub captain Sean Connery learned to fish, might be on the verge of a modest economic rebound.

After tanking hard in the wake of collapsing oil prices, the country’s rickety economic state prompted many automakers to abandon plans for production growth or pull up stakes altogether. General Motors was a noted casualty, though Lada sailed through the turmoil in fine shape.

Early last year, it seemed as if parent Daimler would head west instead of building a Mercedes plant in the Motherland. However, that’s no longer the case, according to the country’s trade and industry minister. Read More >

By on November 4, 2016

russia

There lived a certain man

In Russia not long ago…

Seemingly ordinary Russian men are prone to incredible — even Herculean — feats of strength and endurance, but the world didn’t know this until cheap dash cams became available in the Motherland. Watch as one truck (or SUV, we can’t tell) challenges its owner to a race.

That, an impromptu pants change leads to disaster in Vermont, and what to do if you spot a police officer driving your stolen Nissan, all after the break. Read More >

By on April 18, 2016

Carlos Ghosn

The Russian automaker that manufactures Lada vehicles won’t see Carlos Ghosn at its board meetings after this June.

The Renault-Nissan CEO and chairman is expected to be replaced as chairman of AvtoVAZ at the company’s June 23 shareholders meeting, the automaker has stated, with Dr. Serguey Skvortsov taking his place.

Ghosn remains the chairman of Alliance Rostec Auto BV, the holding company that controls AvtoVAZ. Renault-Nissan bought a majority stake in the company, which is a joint venture with Russian Technologies, in 2012. Read More >

By on April 15, 2016

russia dashcam

If you’re planning a road trip this weekend, take a few pointers from this Russian dashcam video on how not to merge.

Everyone knows Russians are unable sustain injury on the roadways (or so it would seem), but this fact wasn’t known until videos started rolling in from the insurance fraud-prone country. Their problems are our gain, however, as these misadventures from the land of Putin and honey hold valuable road safety lessons. Read More >

By on April 14, 2016

Ford Focus diesel Russia

After partnering with the Russian company Sollers for the past five years and investing more than $1 billion into car and engine factories, Ford Motor Company is betting on a Russian rebound and still sees the beleaguered country as a long-term play.

Amid GM’s retreat from Russia, Ford stuck to its game plan by spending cash on new models and plants in that country, presumably to avoid a catch-up situation similar to the one it faced in China. According to Automotive News, the commitment paid off in the first quarter of 2016, sending sales up by 93 percent in a market that saw a 17 percent decline over the same period. Read More >

By on April 13, 2016

2017 Ford GT

If there’s about $450,000 burning a hole in your pocket, Ford wants you to get in line for the new GT.

The application process for the 2017 and 2018 model years of the carbon fiber supercar kicked off today, and along with it, a very selective customer screening process.

Ford will sell a limited number of GTs each year, produced by Canadian firm Multimatic, so it could be a long wait if you don’t make the cut this time around. Ford anticipates first deliveries will begin late this year, with applications ending on May 12. Oh, and Russia? You can’t order a Ford GT, unless you have a friend buy it for you in an eligible country — like, say, China.

Read More >

By on April 6, 2016

Kortezh Putin Limo, Image: Sergey Subbotin/Sputnik

It’s a limousine with the swagger of a KGB gunfighter.

Steely eyed Russian president Vladimir Putin can look forward to taking ownership of a new ride next year, Sputnik News reported (via Autoblog). And guess what? It’s a vehicle anyone in the Motherland (with money) can buy!

The limousine is a product of the state-funded Kortezh (Cortege) project, a 12.4 billion ruble ($181.9 million) venture implemented by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Institute in Moscow.

Read More >

By on March 28, 2016

2016NissanAltima

Nissan’s product pipeline has all the flow of a crusted-over faucet, and that’s not good for business.

That, automation is insidiously infiltrating cars all around you, Mercedes-Benz goes all in on AMG, Jaguar teases China with something special, and foreigners flee the Russian automotive landscape … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 16, 2016

2016 Kia Optima SXL Exterior

The Russian car market is looking grimmer than the last days of the Romanov family, but that’s proving to be a big opportunity for Kia.

That, a delay for Volkswagen’s overseas diesel fix, Porsche employees are rolling in dough, electric rallycross could be on the way, and FCA soars in Europe … after the break!

Read More >

Recent Comments

  • namesakeone: That, and the Model S starts at $75,000. I have no idea how much apiece a fleet would cost....
  • Dan: “Tell you what – YOU get in this 5,800-lb vehicle and tow 6,500 lbs with only 301 hp and 329 lb/ft of...
  • JimC2: “very grizzly sights” Maybe some grisly ones too. That sounds like a lot to bear.
  • MBella: I wish it had a negative effect on civilian purchases. Cop cars should be very distinct from civilian...
  • Lie2me: ^^This It’s not that expensive to design new bodies on the same old platform. Car companies did it...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States