Following its decision to stop production of vehicles in Russia from March this year, Renault now sells 100 percent of its shares in Renault Russia to Moscow City. Also, during a meeting of the board of directors at Renault Group, the French manufacturer decided to sell its 67.69 interest in AvtoVAZ to NAMI, or the Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute of Russia.
In a statement released to the media, Renault says this is a “difficult but necessary decision” which comes as a response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the invasion of the country which started on February 24. The manufacturer, however, takes “a responsible choice towards our 45,000 employees in Russia” and preserves the ability to return to the country within six years.
Gallery: Soviet Cars Were Weird: Moskvitch-2141 (Aleko)
The agreement with the Moscow City and NAMI is not subject to any conditions with all required approvals already obtained. This means the agreement becomes effective immediately and Renault no longer has business operations in Russia, where it produced rebranded Dacia models for the local market under the Lada marque.
Renault’s now-former plant in Moscow is now operated by the Moscow City and there are reports about a potential resurrection of a historical USSR automotive brand. The Moscow Times quotes Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin who announced he wants to bring back to life Moskvitch, a Soviet-era automaker that ceased to exist in 2006 when it went bankrupt. Kamaz, a Russian large truck manufacturer, will become Moskvitch’s tech partner.
“The automobile plant on Volgogradsky Prospekt has a long and glorious history,” an official announcement by Mayor Sobyanin reads. “Almost a hundred years ago, he started with the production of Ford cars. For decades, the legendary domestic Moskvicth was produced here. Since 1998, the plant has cooperated with Renault, and Logans, Dusters and Sanderos have rolled off its assembly line. In 2022, we will open a new page in the history of Moskvitch.”
According to Moscow's plan, Mosvitch will initially begin assembling cars with combustion engines and in the future, it could switch to producing electric cars.
Gallery: Moskvitch 402/403/407
Sources: Renault, The Moscow Times