To Russia, with love, of its fast-growing sales -Renault-Nissan is taking control of Russia’s largest car firm AvtoVAZ – maker of the Lada.
In a preliminary deal with state-owned company Russian Technologies the Franco-Japanese alliance will own a fraction over 50 percent of AvtoVAZ, rising to two thirds later.
Russia is set to become Europe’s biggest car market within three years encouraging Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn: “Russia is very promising because Russia is a rich country; you have an emerging middle class which is very strong, some statistics show that more than 10 million people in Russia have an annual income equal or superior to 50,000 dollars, and this translates into a growing car market.”
Expected sales growth of six percent in Russia this year contrasts with declines in western Europe.
But Lada’s sales have fallen recently as Russian drivers increasingly turn to foreign brands.
As well as new technology from Renault-Nissan, AvtoVAZ has said it will borrow heavily to revamp its model line.