Russia: AvtoVAZ CEO confident in Lada’s future image

Following Renault-Nissan’s control takeover at the largest Russian automaker, CEO Carlos Ghosn successfully promoted at the helm of the Lada maker the first foreign chief in the make’s history.

Bo Andersson is no stranger of Russia’s automotive market, as he spent four successful years at the helm of the country’s second-biggest vehicle producer – the GAZ Group. There, he ended decades of losses by giving up on production of the make’s passenger cars under the Volga brand, instead relying on the more productive commercial vehicle output. The same idea is not an option at AvtoVAZ, but Andersson says there is “massive” room for improvement at the largest automaker.

“We are improving fast, but the room for improvement is still massive. Productivity was 20 cars per employee per year in 2013. We should double it to 40 by year-end and 60 is our next target,” comments the new CEO. I need workers to build cars, not the Soviet management hierarchy that was in place here. When I came here, I found nine management layers, with many positions also having at least two deputies each. We now have five layers and no deputies.”

The manager has been working seven days a week since arriving at AvtoVAZ’s headquarters in Togliatti, all to reinvent Lada into a profitable member of the Renault-Nissan alliance. The example is near, as Renault took struggling Romanian brand Dacia – located in a former Comunist country as well – and transformed it into Europe’s affordable Cinderella.

Via Automotive News Europe