VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – The head of Russian automaker AvtoVAZ said the company would release new models from its Lada brand, following the exit of majority shareholder Renault as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The executive, Maxim Sokolov, said Wednesday that the proposals for the new models would be presented at a board meeting later this month.
The company plans to manufacture 500,000 cars per year, largely in its Togliatti factory. Sales rebounded by 75 percent in August from July.
"After the previous shareholders Renault company had left in May, the company stood idle for more than two months ... but we managed to set up new production chains and logistics and safeguard the supply of components for production of base models," Sokolov told the Eastern Economic Forum.
New car sales in Russia in August fell 62 percent from a year earlier, after a drop of 74.9 percent in July, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB).
Renault had taken a majority share in AvtoVAZ in the late 2010s, and invested billions to modernize the Togliatti factory. But it exited the Russian subsidiary this spring and wrote off the value of that investment.
The French automaker had planned to combine Lada and its low-cost Romanian subsidiary, Dacia. The two brands would share underpinnings based on Renault-Nissan’s CMF platform, with the goal of building 1 million vehicles a year on common architecture.
It is unclear if new Lada models would use the new platform or existing ones.