Russia’s Lada expanding, even going communist (again)
Lada is making a comeback, but you probably didn’t miss it (or know who it is.) Lada is a Russian auto brand that was exported to most of the world in the 80s and 90s, but not the U.S. for obvious reasons.
Its most successful car, the sedan/wagon usually known as the Riva (pictured right), was successful for being tough and simple, like any good communist should be. A combination of emissions regulations, political disorder and the car’s age (it changed very little from when it was introduced in the late 60s) finally killed the Riva in the 90s. Lada was no longer exporting to Eastern Europe by the late 90s and export numbers dwindled to other major countries.
Since then, the Russian auto market has exploded. It has now replaced Germany as Europe’s largest car market. In March, Renault-Nissan bought a 25 percent stake in Lada’s parent company Avtovaz. Lada is now up to five production models, and the Renault-Nissan-Lada alliance is the world’s third largest automotive company behind Toyota and General Motors.
With this production boom and new corporate backing, Lada is ready to take on the world again (scary?) This week, Lada has announced it will now be exporting to Eastern Europe and beyond. In September Lada plans to send hatchback model of its new Priora hatchback (pictured right) to multiple European countries including Germany. Lada also announced a deal that will have it send 850 more vehicles (600 Prioras and 250 4x4s) to North Korea. These will join the 500 Prioras already in the communist country. Old habits die hard, eh?