Russia: Lada’s foreign boss wants a sportier image image

Bo Andersson, president of AvtoVAZ – the parent of the Lada brand – says that among the many changes the No. 1 Russian automaker has to implement is one that could swiftly attract more customers.

The manager, brought in by Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn – now the majority stakeholder at AvtoVAZ – has been hit by the numerous management flaws the company has – a reminiscence of the now departed Soviet-era cultural identity.

And, among the many moves to streamline operations, cut costs, strengthen management layers and better utilize the huge Togliatti plant, there’s also one intangible – sporty design. “We will not be the new BMW of the industry but we will be the best value,” the senior executive claims.

But there’s no reason to skip the German make’s playbook – so two of the upcoming models for the Lada brand – the Vesta and the X-Ray – have been treated different from the utilitarian Ladas of recent past. British car designer Steve Mattin has penned them with a decisively modern design, in an attempt to shake up the public image of the constructor. There’s a limit to the modernization, though, as the automaker that primarily aims to implement its products in emerging markets is also very interested in keeping costs down, securing in the process very competitive prices.

Via Forbes