Workers at the troubled Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ which make Ladas have renewed their call for the government to nationalise the company.
After a decade-long economic boom, Russia is in recession and the workforce fears closure after a reported 440 million euro loss in the first half of this year. Until recently Russia boasted Europe’s fastest growing car market but the global economic downturn changed all that. Togliatti is one of Russia’s many single-industry cities. The Soviet-era plant there employs 100,000 and the company plans to shed an estimated 27,000 jobs. Minority shareholder Renault is unlikely to come to the rescue. AvtoVAZ’s sales have fallen by 44 per cent since the downturn took hold. The unions say the Kremlin has no option but to meet the workers’ nationalisation demands.