The deal comes eight months after President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin inaugurated an assembly complex with manufacturing capacity of 350,000 vehicles per year in Togliatti in Russia’s Samara region. The complex will become home to one of the largest platform-sharing programs in the Renault-Nissan Alliance. It has already started the production of Lada Largus in spring 2012 while the manufacturing of the new Nissan Almera was launched just yesterday with full ramp-up in spring 2013. Production will soon span five models across three brands – LADA, Renault and Nissan. Investments in this project will total about €400 million.
The three partners also build cars at plants in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Izhevsk (700 kms north of Togliatti, acquired by AVTOVAZ in 2012). Each of these plants will continue to benefit from new projects and investments.
With the Togliatti improvements and those planned at other manufacturing complexes, Renault-Nissan and AvtoVAZ will have a Russian capacity of at least 1.7 million cars per year starting in 2016.
“Strengthening of our partnership is a logical next step of our joint operation. Yesterday, AvtoVAZ became home to multiple brands with the production of the first Nissan model in Togliatti. Our rapid integration will improve the efficiency of our common efforts and increase our market share, said Igor Komarov, President of AvtoVAZ.
Total automotive industry volume in Russia last year was 2.65 million vehicles, including light commercial vehicles. In 2012, the volume is expected to increase to 2.9 million units.
Russia is the third largest market for the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
The Alliance sold 878,990 cars in Russia last year – including 578,387 Ladas, for a market share of nearly 33 percent.