Firm cans new Golf-sized hatch in favour of improving the current range
18 November 2009

Renault has canned plans for a modern Lada hatchback based on the Concept C show car as it concentrates on improving the troubled firm’s current range.

A senior Renault source told Autocar that its plans for Lada parent Avtovaz had changed since it bought a 25 per cent stake in the firm, and that the first priority was to significantly improve the quality of the Kalina small car.

“We’re going to use a similar technique to the way VW managed Skoda,” said the source. “First we want to get the quality of the Kalina right. It will be hard for the managers because they’ve never done it to this standard before, but the Russian education is very good. They will be able to learn in two to five years what the West learned over 40 years.

“We have stopped the project to build a Golf-size car in order to concentrate on the Kalina. Only then will we introduce new models based on Renault-Nissan platforms. We’d expect new models to roll out in 2012-2014,” said the insider.

Renault is resisting calls from the Russian government to invest more cash into the company, and it says that its contribution to Avtovaz is “through technology, equipment, know-how and platforms”.

Avtovaz, which employs over 100,000 people in the city of Togliatti, sells most of its million-car output locally, but it was badly hit by the global recession. New car sales in Russia are down by 57 per cent and sales in Ukraine, an Avtovaz stronghold, are down 75 per cent.

The company was poised to sack as many as 27,000 workers, but the Russian government stepped in with a cash injection, partly to prevent unrest in the city. Some of that aid will be used to fund new models.

Hilton Holloway

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Renault reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
3

18 November 2009

Am I missing something here ? Renault teaching another manufacturer about quality and reliability !

Past Renaults I have owned have been anything but reliable. Maybe they are better now that Nissan has some input then ?

I must admit I didnt even know Lada still existed . Thought it was killed off by Euro crash and emissions regs. Now theres a thing Renault does have expertise in.... crash protection.

18 November 2009

I really don't understand why Renault is bothering with Lada. They have Dacia for their cheap brand, so why not just use the factory in Russia to make the Sandero? Although I take their point about the workers having to learn how to make a good car first, then they can introduce the quality. Ford did the same at Halewood before the X-type was built there. The final Escorts were the best ever made apparently.

18 November 2009

Good luck Renault!! I'd love to see how they are intending to break a culture of laziness, thieving and incompetence built up over 30 years and covering a factory the size of a town! Believe me, it's not they don't know HOW to do the job properly, they just can't be bothered and the management are in on every scam going also.

My wife spent 2 years working as a translator at Lada before we met and she's told me stories of corruption that's so inbedded at the Togliatti plant and the town itself that it wouldn't surprise me if Renault end up running as far from there as possible!

One little story that amused me however was about the "development department" that were working hard, diligently on a new, upgraded part for the Samara model.
Many months of work later, they revealed the finished product, ready to be fitted to the car. What was it? A new mudflap with a revised Lada logo! There's Lada style development for you! As I said at the start, good luck Renault!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK