Russia's AvtoVAZ reports 2013 loss on market slump

A customer examines a Lada vehicle at a Moscow dealership. Russian car sales are seen falling 2% this year.
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MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia's largest carmaker, AvtoVAZ, reported a loss of 6.9 billion rubles ($196 million) for 2013 due to a slump in the country's auto market.

AvtoVAZ is owner of the country's best-selling brand, Lada. The loss compared to a profit of 211 million the previous year. Revenue fell 4 percent to 175 billion rubles, the company said, with sales of Ladas down 19 percent to 481,000 cars.

New AvtoVAZ CEO Bo Andersson announced plans recently to cut 2,500 jobs to help the company back to profit in a contracting market.

AvtoVAZ is due to come under the control of Renault-Nissan this year, with its new owners planning to win market share by taking the boxy Lada upmarket.

Russian auto sales have faltered as economic growth slowed, causing people to put off making large purchases. New-car sales fell by 6 percent in 2013, according to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB), which expects deliveries to decline by 2 percent this year.

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