Lada sales rebound on Russian gov’t support

Europe

Sales of AvtoVAZ’s Lada cars rose sharply in August as the industry continues to grapple with the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The brand said it sold 18,087 passenger cars during the month – up 75 percent on July.

While sales were down 7 percent compared with August 2021, it was the best monthly performance for the automaker since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February.

AvtoVAZ President Maxim Sokolov said sales of two Lada models – the Granta and Niva – had recovered to “pre-crisis levels,” which he said was an “important achievement” on the company’s road to recovery.

“We will successfully overcome the current difficulties and meet demand in the Russian car market,” he said in a statement.

The company, which employs about 42,000 people, said a government program to subsidize the purchase of new vehicles was helping support customer demand.

Russia’s auto sector, heavily reliant on foreign parts and global supply chains, ground to a halt after the West hit Russia with an unprecedented package of sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, and international manufacturers wound down their Russian operations.

AvtoVAZ’s long-time shareholder, Renault, sold its stake in the company in May.

Also in May, Russian car production collapsed by 97 percent as several factories, including AvtoVAZ, shut their doors, furloughed workers and started offering staff cash bonuses to quit.

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