Soviet-era carmaker Muskvich may return as Renault leaves Russia

Russia could revive an automobile brand from its past after French automaker Renault exited the market.

According to Reuters, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Renault’s factories would be nationalized and used to create a new model of Moscow, a name meaning “Moscow native”.

“The foreign owner has decided to close the Moscow Renault plant. We have the right to do this, but we cannot allow thousands of workers to be left without work, “Sobyanin said on his web blog.” In 2022, we will open a new page in Moscow’s history. “

According to Sobyanin, production of the Ford car began about 100 years ago, and the plant has a “long and glorious history” through the production of the Muscovite car until Renault entered the market in 1998.

Read more: Lada, Renault sell Russian assets as war continues in Ukraine

Renault sold 100 percent of its shares in Moscow City, as well as shares of Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ to a Russian Institute of Science for 1 symbolic ruble. The French carmaker still has an agreement in which it can recover assets within six years of the sale, but it is possible that Moscow may already start production and continue before that point.

“It takes at least two years and at least $ 1 billion to build a new car,” said Sergei Selikov, head of autostat analytics. The brand will start selling traditional ICE cars before moving to a potential electric power plant.

To manufacture the vehicles, the truck manufacturer will act as the main technical partner of the Kamaz brand, while Sobyanin has asked the Russian Ministry of Commerce to take as much part as possible from the Russian manufacturers.

Kamaz said in a statement that it supported the mayor’s decision, but would issue a formal statement on the partnership once the technical cooperation issues were discussed and resolved.

According to Autostat, there are still about 200,000 Muskvich cars registered in Russia, of which 46,000 are over 35 years old. The cars were made cheaper and stronger using parts made in Russia and East Germany, but the brand went bankrupt after its privatization in 2006 and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Photo by Muskvich Ivan Kalita via Avito.ru

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