a way out found in Russia?

This is the hot topic of the moment at Renault. What to do with Avtovaz, the parent company of Lada, of which the Losange owns 68%? According to the Russian press agency Interfax, which would report remarks by the Russian Minister of Industry, Renault is about to sell its stake to a Russian automobile research institute, NAMI. The sale would be made for a symbolic sum (we are talking about a rouble).

Renault has little choice. Very well established in Russia thanks to Avtovaz but also its own brand, the Losange had been slow to react to the war in Ukraine. But, singled out and under the threat of economic sanctions, he announced on March 23 the suspension of the activities of his factory located in Moscow. That day, he also let it be known that he was evaluating “possible options regarding his participation in Avtovaz”.

The continuation and hardening of the war have left no doubt: the brand must part with it. A few days ago, during the presentation of the results for the first quarter of 2022, the new financial director Thierry Piéton had indicated that discussions with the Russian authorities were progressing. The brand, however, did not wish to react to the latest information.

This is obviously a very bad deal for the French manufacturer, which has invested to modernize and relaunch Lada. Spurred on by Renault, Avtovaz had been making money for a few years. As part of the Renaulution, Lada now even forms a duo with Dacia, in order to pool projects. Thus, the future Niva would have been a close cousin of the next Duster. Projects necessarily put on hold. For Renault too, well-advanced development vehicles could end up in a closet. The manufacturer was thus to present a crossover derived from the Taliant sedan (the new Logan with the Renault logo) by the summer.

One way out, however, would hide another. According to information from Interfax, Renault has an option to buy out its stake in Avtovaz over the next five or six years.

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