The country was once billed as the only nation able to threaten Germany’s sales charts domination in Europe, but today the auto market has crashed and the automakers are struggling to recover.
AvtoVAZ, the largest auto manufacturer in Russia has come under the control of the Renault Nissan alliance and it’s being lead by its first non-native chief executive officer: former GM purchasing chief Bo Andersson. He was called at the end of 2013 to direct the recovery of the money-losing automaker, the parent company of the best selling Russian car brand – Lada. His job saw even more troubles after last year the overall automotive market in Russia started to falter under the pressure of the slowing economy – which massively impacted local sales. He is still bullish about Lada’s future prospects and says the automaker will recover some of the lost sales when they introduce two crucial models this year. Under the moniker XV – which stands both for the Roman number 15 and the first letters of the key new models – the automaker has strategized a “pride” approach to the launches.
Both models will reach segments that Lada has not been very interested in until now, the X-ray (compact SUV) and the Vesta (compact sedan) will also be crucial to recover some of the lost share in places such as Moscow or St. Petersburg. Andersson also considers the Chinese automaker key challengers in the long term, with the main rivals for now being Geely and Lifan, which have been concentrating their efforts on regions that are known strongholds for Lada.
Via Automotive News Europe