Renault Romania’s head to become CEO at Russia’s AvtoVAZ image

The current chief of Renault Group operations in Romania is going to lead the largest automaker in Russia, the automaker’s owners announced.

Nicolas Maure, who is currently the Managing Director for Renault Group operations in Romania and also the President and CEO of Automobile Dacia, will replace Bo Andersson as chief of AvtoVAZ effective from April 4. “AvtoVAZ has modernized its lineup and manufacturing processes, and significantly improved product quality,” said Carlos Ghosn, the head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which has a majority stake in Alliance Rostec Auto BV, the joint venture that controls Russia’s largest automaker. “With Nicolas Maure, we plan to continue on this strategy despite the short-term challenges, and we remain bullish about the long-term future of the Russian market and AvtoVAZ as the leading domestic automaker.”

Bo Andersson is stepping down from his position after the automaker reported losses of over 1 billion dollars last year because of the deep crisis in which the Russian auto market finds itself. The sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles dropped by 35.7 percent in 2015, reaching the lowest level since the country’s previous recession in 2009. Even the forecasts for this year are not very encouraging, as demand will probably decline another 4.7 percent in 2016, according to the Association of European Businesses in Moscow. AvtoVAZ, which sells Lada-branded cars, had a 31 percent drop in demand last year, from 387,307 in 2014 to 269,096 units. Renault-Nissan owns a combined 67 percent of the holding company that controls AvtoVAZ, while state’s Rostec owns the remaining 33 percent.