Renault-Nissan seals Lada deal in quest for Russian growth
Carlos Ghosn, leader of the Franco-Japanese alliance who was in Moscow to sign the agreement, said the deal deepens a four-year partnership it has had with AvtoVAZ, hoping to tap demand for new cars from Russians with growing incomes and rising aspirations.
Reviving the Lada brand - still Russia's market leader – is a top priority for Ghosn, who says it is expected to lead the group's growth plans. AvtoVAZ only survived a 2009 slump with the help of a state bailout and its clunky saloons, with a reputation for breaking down, are often the butt of jokes. "Without any doubt, the Lada brand will be in the short term and the long term the largest brand in Russia for the alliance," Ghosn told Reuters. "We are here to strengthen the brand and give it everything it needs."
Ghosn said he wanted Lada to be competitive at the bottom end of the market but also wanted to move the marque into higher price brackets. Two new Lada models, the Largus and Granta, have already attracted high demand and the company is still trying to deliver six months' worth of orders, the group said.
Ghosn expects the newly-created venture to capture 40 percent of Russia's market by 2016, up from 30 percent, as Renault-Nissan contributes technology and product knowledge to Lada while
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