Тhe "Anti-Crisis" Moskvitch Is Proof Russia Should Stay Away From Making Cars
Resurrecting the Russian car brand ’Moskvitch’ seems like the biggest war crime once you see what cars they are makingby Dim Angelov, on
The Russian automotive industry has never been much to look at. This is even more apparent in modern days when even brand new models are 20 years behind their western counterparts in terms of technology and safety. The conflict in Ukraine has prompted many companies to move away from Russian territories, including many foreign carmakers, such as Renault. This “power vacuum”, so to speak, has resulted in an old, Russian car company reappearing. The brand Moskvitch is coming back under the supervision of the Russian government, with an “anti-crisis” model, and the car’s standard equipment proves why the brand should have stayed dead.
The reappearing of the brand was recently announced by Moscow Mayor, Sergey Sobyanin. The new “anti-crisis” Moskvitch will be produced in the former Renault production plant by the same Russian workers who used to work for the French car company. The company ensures 3,800 workplaces, and if production of the new Moskvitch models goes smoothly, another 40,000 workplaces will be available that will be engaged with the production of automotive parts.
It was in 2002 that the old Moskvitch factories closed down, with the 2414 series, also known as the Moskvitch Aleko, being the last model to ever roll off the production line. Western sanctions against Russia have prompted the resurrection of the brand in 2022, but what the Russian engineers have come up with hardly seems adequate compared to what more established carmakers are offering. Due to the new Moskvitch being rushed into production, it will lack basic safety features such as ABS and airbags.
Nowadays, cars from even budged brands like the Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by Renault, features ABS and multiple airbags as standard. With this in mind, the new Moskvitch models will probably be sold, exclusively, on the Russian market as safety and emission standards are becoming ever stricter. Bosch, which has been supplying catalytic converters in the past, has also withdrawn from Russia. This means that the new Moskvitch will be missing a catalytic converter needed to pass Euro 1 and Euro 2 emission standards. “We will drive a Euro 0 category, as we did during World War II”, plant director Dmitry Pronin explained.
Among the other features the 2022 Moskvitch will lack are seatbelts (yes, you read that right). This is due to the fact that there are no more seatbelt tensioners left in Russia, to which the belts could be mounted. This will, potentially, lead to a rise in lethal cases in car accidents, which sadly, is a common sight in Russia. You only need to look at the countless dash cam YouTube videos. Plant director Dmitry Pronin expressed some enthusiasm about the eventual production of EVs. Judging by what Moskvitch is currently cooking up, that sounds more of a dreamer’s talk.
While many Russians joked about recreating “the good old days” where you would lie under the car, fixing it yourself, the notion of a modern-day vehicle with absolutely zero safety equipment is somewhat absurd. Nevertheless, it’s happening in Russia, as we speak.