The biggest carmaker in Russia will not make any profit until at least 2016, according to its newly appointed chief executive officer.
Russia’s largest automaker AvtoVAZ, controlled by Renault-Nissan Alliance through the Rostec Auto BV company, has also been affected by the deep local economic crisis, as sales of Lada brand fell 31 percent in 2015. Such a drop triggered a loss of nearly 1 billion dollars for the company. “My main aim now is to return the company to profit. It will take some time, no earlier than 2018,” CEO Nicolas Maure recently told a Russian business daily. “A lot will depend on the market conditions. Shareholders are not asking for a concrete timeline.”
Maure, the former Managing Director for Renault Group operations in Romania and also the ex-President and CEO of Automobile Dacia, was named in April to replace Bo Andersson as chief of AvtoVAZ. Furthermore, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will step down as chairman of Rostec, to be replaced by Sergey Chemezov, the current CEO.
Lada, the market leader, sold with 10 percent fewer cars in May (20,597 vehicles) and 11 percent less (102,124 units) in the first five months of the year, on a market that slipped by 14.7 percent this year. “Car sales have fallen, but Russia still has a significant population – more than 140 million people,” Maure added. “With time the market will recover, and AvtoVAZ and Lada will claim a significant share.” Because of the economic slump, the auto market in Russia went down by almost 50 percent in the past four years.