Russian carmaker Lada stops building cars, at least for now

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted many imports into Russia, leading to a shutdown of Lada assembly plants this week.
  • A spokesperson for Renault in Russia (Lada models are made by Avtovaz, which is controlled by Renault) said Car and driver this limited production will restart next week, but with forced holidays on stop days.
  • Last year, Lada models accounted for 21% of all new cars sold in Russia.

    The first cars under the Lada brand appeared in 1973 during Soviet times, and the brand is such a symbol of the country that Russian President Vladimir Putin frequently posed for photos behind the wheel of Lada vehicles. Now, economic sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have, at least for a time, halted production of the iconic car brand.

    the the wall street journal reported that Lada car plants “shut down” this week because sanctions left Russian facilities without the components and supplies needed to build new cars. Groupe Renault holds a majority stake of 67.6% in Avtovaz, the company that builds Lada vehicles. the Newspaper said more than 20% of the parts needed by Avtovaz are imports, most of which have run out over the past two weeks.

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    “If the trade stops, Avtovaz stops,” a former Avtovaz board member told the newspaper. “Putin knows he can’t do it alone.” The board member added that restarting production could take months or even years if Avtovaz loses support from Renault. For now, however, some sort of workaround to the production halt is in the works, based on a statement from Avtovaz about restarting car assembly next week.

    “The company is making every effort to return to a normal production schedule at its Togliatti and Izhevsk plants as soon as possible,” said Sergey Ilinskiy, spokesman for the Russia-based Renault group. Car and driver.

    The “current crisis in the supply of electronic components”, Ilinskiy said, means Avtovaz’s production will be different next week than usual. Assembly of the Lada Granta and Niva Legend, for example, will go full throttle for two shifts over three days next week, but March 14 and 15 will be declared “stop days”, with employees being paid two-thirds of their average. Income. Togliatti workers who work in the production of components will continue to manufacture these items with an eye on after-sales as well as re-assemble new vehicles.

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    Meanwhile, the Lada plant in Izhevsk will continue the necessary preparations to build the Vesta New Generation model, Ilinskiy said, but workers not working directly on the car will be forced to take time off next week (Ilinskiy l ‘called “downtime mode”). Ilinskiy said that other functions and subsidiaries of Avtovaz, such as those involved in the production and distribution of spare parts or customer service representatives, will continue to work full time.

    This may be more than you want to know about the holiday schedules of Russian autoworkers, but it has to do with the fact that the ruble has lost around 30% of its value since the start of the invasion. end of February. So choosing to take time off sooner rather than later might be a popular move among workers who are seeing the value of their money decline so precipitously.

    the the wall street journal said Lada vehicles accounted for 21% of all sales in Russia last year, and with foreign brands suspending their own production in the country as well as imports into Russia, car buyers in Russia could be on the verge to face a market more constrained than the United States faces two years of pandemic. Russia has imposed its own export bans on more than 200 products, the BBC reported, including vehicles.

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