Tag: Russia

By on April 22, 2021

Shutterstock

Today President Joe Biden committed to cutting U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52 percent by 2030. His statement came during a virtual climate change summit with 40 world leaders.

(Read More…)

By on March 2, 2021

 

 

Infiniti

Infiniti’s wanderlust has taken the QX80 to other faraway locations, but none quite as exotic as Privolzhskoe, Tver Oblast, Russia, to go glamping in Villi Ulei’s geodesic domes.

In what’s termed a comfort zone for climatic conditions in Russia, temperatures range from 9-degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, to a high of 66-degrees in the summer. As you can see, snowfall is abundant in the region, from a low of about 16 inches, to almost 32 inches, and it spans anywhere from four to five months of the year. Home to 1.35 million Russians, 30% of whom are Russian Orthodox, it might seem like a great place to go if it were summer at the Boishoe Zavidovo, when Nashestvie, the largest Russian rock festival, is being held.

(Read More…)

By on July 30, 2020

Image: Lada

That shiny new Lada you’ve always wanted might one day come with an unexpected bit of equipment: an ignition interlock set free by non-boozy breath.

That’s what Russia’s industry ministry would like to see installed in cars before they even leave the factory, but reaching this goal —  like trying to put on a pair of tight-fitting shoes after polishing off a 26er of Stolichnaya —  will likely prove a challenge. (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2020

While OPEC member states and other oil-producing counties have signed a pact to stem the flow of crude by 10 million barrels a day and hopefully rein in the current price-crashing glut, the situation remains bleak for oil producers around the world. On Monday, May futures for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped to the floor, with prices hitting $5 per barrel.

That number shifted into the negative* as the above paragraph was being written. We’re guessing that’s because the end of the May contract forces physical receipts at a time when storage capacities are basically nonexistent. June WTI prices are still riding just below $23 per barrel.

Meanwhile, Brent Crude is hovering around $26 bbl as the OPEC Basket hangs onto $17.73 bbl on a 4-day delay. The assumption is that both will come down, though perhaps not as dramatically as WTI did.  (Read More…)

By on April 7, 2020

The world’s largest oil producers are meeting this week for negotiations aimed at saving the energy sector a lot of hardship further down the road. That includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which has been at odds with itself more than usual of late. Hampered by dwindling demand, member countries are suffering and aren’t sure what’s to be done about last month’s price plunge and surplus of crude.

During the cartel’s last meeting, Russia declined to collaborate with OPEC’s planned production cuts. This sent Saudi Arabia into a furious tizzy; it quickly attempted to flood the market with bargain oil in an attempt to drive out lesser players. Like everything else, this was further complicated by the global pandemic. The coronavirus has suppressed oil use to a point where suppliers are growing concerned about storage capacity running out.  (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

With the coronavirus keeping people indoors and shale drilling keeping U.S. oil prices relatively stable, you’ve probably noticed gasoline bills being quite reasonable of late. Well, don’t get used to the sums you’re paying now, as analysts project fuel prices will drop even lower as 2020 progresses. While you might think this is due to national quarantines and lessened demand, you’d only be half right.

Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to strike a deal that would have enacted production cuts to better stabilize the market. Instead of slashing output, Saudi Arabia started slashing prices as it sought ways to ramp up production. Russia immediately responded by promising to increase its own output, leading to what looks like an all-out price war.  (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2020

gm

General Motors has no interest in continuing a production presence in the Motherland, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t see the Russian market as ripe for new product.

As sales fall in the tricky market, the automaker believes the new Cadillac Escalade, joined by a trio of crossovers, is just the thing to reclaim lost ground.  (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2019

Russia’s largest automotive manufacturer, AvtoVAZ, announced Monday that it plans to buy General Motors out of its regional joint venture. The duo previously assembled Chevrolet-branded automobiles for the local market; however, GM lost interest after the market took a turn for the worse.

While sanctions from Western nations and falling oil prices upended Russia’s economy a few years ago, it was already headed for hard times. Wages have stagnated and average citizens no longer possess the same level of buying power they held a decade earlier. The Russian Economic Development Ministry predicts just a 1-2 percent growth rate up to 2030 and leadership doesn’t seem terribly interested in improving the situation for the citizenry, deciding instead to raise taxes on just about everything. GM was probably right to get out.  (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2019

With an unusual combination of Fifties American car styling and Sixties Russian build quality, today’s GAZ-21 has everything the discerning Communist motorist needs.

Let’s talk Volga.

(Read More…)

By on March 28, 2019

Image: Ford of Europe

Ford’s troubled Russian joint venture isn’t doing nearly as hot as the Blue Oval automaker would like, so it’s severely paring back its presence in the country.

The memorandum of understanding signed Wednesday kicks off a broad restructuring of the automaker’s business in Russia, with two vehicle assembly plants and an engine plant now slated to close. Ford passenger car assembly will soon be a thing of the past in the Motherland as Ford’s partner, Sollers PJSC, takes a majority stake in the venture. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2019

2018 Ford EcoSport - Image: Ford

The Blue Oval brand stands to seriously pare back its Russian presence, a new report claims, with two of the automaker’s three assembly plants rumored to close. Ford entered into a joint venture in the country in 2011, partnering with Russia’s Sollers. The two recently reached a new agreement, Sollers claims, but details remain scarce.

One person with knowledge of the pact claims Ford will cut its passenger car operations, leaving only its commercial vehicle business. More market share for the resurgent Lada, it seems. (Read More…)

By on January 7, 2019

A Russian BMW fan seems to have leaked the new face of the 2019 7 Series on social media over the weekend. While we’d advise any news involving Russia be taken with a grain of salt, it certainly looks like this could be documentation of the sedan’s upcoming facelift. Take special note of the front lip and how closely it matches the 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept and the brand’s current design language.

BMW has been holding clandestine previews of the updated 7 Series for months, giving credence to the leak. However, the subpar quality of the image and swift disappearance of the Instagram link that published it (before it was picked up by BMW Blog) makes things feel slightly fishy. Still, the original poster appears to be an avid BMW fan/owner/automotive blogger and theoretically could have been to invited to one of BMW’s secret pre-screenings. Though perhaps not next time, considering the probable leak.   (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2018

2018 Ford EcoSport - Image: Ford

Russia, a large country covered mostly in taiga forest and tundra, still loves the Lada 4×4 (née Niva) four decades after its launch, but Ford’s EcoSport isn’t getting the same kind of affection four years after its launch.

Ford’s EcoSport, which burst onto the North American subcompact crossover scene at the beginning of the year, began production at a joint facility in Russia in 2014 but, as that country’s car buying climbs in the wake of a recession, buyers aren’t springing for the EcoSport like they once were. Ford’s throttling back production while claiming regular downtime. Critics blame the model’s price, as well as its diminutive size.

Surely no such critics exist on this side of the Atlantic. (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…)

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