Russia revives Soviet-era car brand at ex-Renault plant

Industry
Russia is reviving the Moskvich brand though the design has been updatedGetty Images

Manufacturing has resumed at the former Renault factory in Russia, which shut after the invasion of Ukraine and was later taken over by the government.

Truck-maker Kamaz said the first cars would go on sale next month.

It is reviving the Soviet-era Moskvich brand although the car’s design has been updated.

Renault’s departure from Russia was part of a broader exodus of Western companies.

McDonald’s and Starbucks were among the other big names to quit the country in the wake of the invasion.

Western sanctions, put in place to isolate Russia and punish it for its military action, have limited access to foreign-made parts.

Kamaz, which signed a deal to be the plant’s technological partner in July, and the government are working with Chinese carmaker JAC, according to Reuters, which cited anonymous sources.

In the press release, Kamaz said it expected to build up a base of Russian suppliers over time, but output is expected to remain limited.

Kamaz said it expected to produce about 600 cars by the end of the year. It hopes to ramp up manufacturing to 100,000 vehicles a year in 2024, some of which will be electric.

That remains well below the output of a typical car plant.

Overall, car production in the country has declined and sales may fall below one million this year for the first time in Russia’s modern history, Reuters reported.

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