Renault's vice president of exterior design has moved to Russian automaker Avtovaz
6 October 2008

Anthony Grade, Renault’s vice president of exterior design, has been appointed the new head of design for Avtovaz, the Russian carmaker most associated with its Lada brand.

The move shows how seriously Avtovaz is taking the design of its next generation of cars, some of which are intended to be offered in western European markets.

Grade has been at Renault for two decades and had his first meeting with Avtovaz bosses at the Paris motorshow last week. Autocar understands that he will be tasked with a complete overhaul and modernisation of Lada’s model range.

The move comes hard on heals of Renault’s €1bn purchase of a 25 percent stake in the Russian carmaker. Avtovaz has also paid Renault hundreds of millions of Euros for the right to use the Dacia Logan platform and to produce two modern Renault engines.

This technology will be used to replace Avtovaz’s ageing model line-up and production is expected within three years.

51 year-old Grade will be moving to the giant Togliatti plant, which is about 400 miles south east of Moscow. He told Autocar that he “wouldn’t be going there to tell the Russians what to do,” although he agreed that the prospect of a clean-sheet redesign of an established brand was an exciting prospect.

“They are very proud of the Lada brand, which sells very well in Russia and nearby countries,” he said, “we will be looking for local design talent in Russia and eventually we could open a design studio in Moscow.”

Grade also hinted that Lada’s home market was relative unusual in that Russian tastes varied across the various age groups. Younger buyers in Russia have similar tastes to the rest of Europe, while older consumers who can remember the old Soviet Union are more nostalgic for the past.

The introduction of new-generation Ladas engineered to common European standards could an opportunity for the brand to begin significant exports into western markets for the first time in decades. The Togliatti facility has a potential capacity of one million units per year.

Hilton Holloway

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Comments
8

6 October 2008

He's either very brave, knows something we don't, or he know has $ signs etched permanently in his eyes.

Lada used to be on a comedy playing field with Skoda, but look at them now. Perhaps Lada will go the same way. Bet I still won't buy one though.

6 October 2008

God help them, the current Renault Laguna is easily more ugly than a Lada Riva was... are you sure you got the report right? don't you mean a Lada designer is going to Renault?

6 October 2008

[quote The Apprentice]

God help them, the current Renault Laguna is easily more ugly than a Lada Riva was... are you sure you got the report right? don't you mean a Lada designer is going to Renault?

[/quote]

Sweet.

6 October 2008

The Laguna is not, by any margin and by any stretch of the imagination, as ugly or as bad as a Lada. The Laguna actually looks better each time you see it, and whilst it's not quite as unusual as the MkII was, it's still got far more interest about it than a Passat or Mondeo. And then there's the interior, which is of far superior quality and classiness. I hope he can do something with Lada. I think he designed the current Clio - a lovely little car!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

6 October 2008

[quote stopitjon]Lada used to be on a comedy playing field with Skoda, but look at them now. Perhaps Lada will go the same way.[/quote]

What helped Skoda's image and sales was that they were bought by a semi-prestige GERMAN company and share lots of their parts especially engines. Had they been bought by a french company making cheaper versions of - Clio/207/C3's for example - i doubt they would have done as well. Good luck to Renault - they're going to need it, even Skoda took over a decade for VW to turn around.

6 October 2008

You must have now all seen the new Megane and Koleos. Clearly they just wanted to get rid of the guy!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

6 October 2008

[quote TegTypeR]

You must have now all seen the new Megane and Koleos. Clearly they just wanted to get rid of the guy!

[/quote] Ha Ha! Bullseye my friend!!!!!!

6 October 2008

[quote Mini1]The Laguna is not, by any margin and by any stretch of the imagination, as ugly or as bad as a Lada. The Laguna actually looks better each time you see it,[/quote] every time you see it.. which fortunately won't be very often because luckily they weed out blind people during the driving test! Honestly if the keys to a brand new freeby were on the table, I would take a Hyundai Sonata rather than the Laguna!

check out this Lada..

http://img2.netcarshow.com/Lada-C_Concept_2007_800x600_wallpaper_01.jpg

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