The stylistics of future models, as promised, will be sustained in the spirit of the Lada X-Ray concept created by Steve Mattin, the former chief designer of Volvo and Mercedes-Benz
The stylistics of future models, as promised, will be sustained in the spirit of the Lada X-Ray concept created by Steve Mattin, the former chief designer of Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. The stylistics of future models, as promised, will be sustained in the spirit of the Lada X-Ray concept created by Steve Mattin, the former chief designer of Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.
A lot of books have been written about the history of the Volga Automobile Plant in Soviet times, and there are simply no numbers for journal articles. But we are interested in its newest part - the one that has unfolded in the last 20 years.
In the early 1990s, the entire Soviet economy was rapidly sinking. Only the oil industry (along with other industries involved in the export of raw materials) and AvtoVAZ could survive normally. The factory in Tolyatti, despite problems with suppliers, continued to produce cars that the Russians (and residents of the CIS countries) were still happy to buy. Demand for them at this time was many times higher than supply. At the same time, the production cost was low: raw materials and components were worth a penny, and labor was also. In the 1990s, a worker at AvtoVAZ received a salary equivalent to 150–250 dollars. The production of one car cost 2–4 thousand dollars, and at retail it cost an average of 7 thousand. It would be AvtoVAZ the most profitable enterprise in the country, but there were only losses on the account.
Today's reality of the Volga Automobile Plant: on the conveyor - Nissan Almera
Today's reality of the Volga Automobile Plant: on the conveyor - Nissan Almera. Today's reality of the Volga Automobile Plant: on the conveyor - Nissan Almera.
Did not help the company and the change in ownership. At the end of 1992, it was corporatized: half of the shares were received by the state, the rest was divided between employees. At that time, there were 290 thousand people at the head plant and in the branches.
The main problem was that it was not those who assembled them who earned it on the machines, but those who sold them. In the Samara region there were hundreds of small companies that sold "frets" and spare parts. Formally, they were independent, but in reality they were connected with influential people in the leadership of the enterprise, city and region. The largest network was created by Boris Berezovsky.
VAZ-2151 (2002): an unsuccessful attempt to modernize the popular "classic"
VAZ-2151 (2002): an unsuccessful attempt to modernize the popular "classic". VAZ-2151 (2002): an unsuccessful attempt to modernize the popular "classic".
Professor, Doctor of Sciences, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences first appeared in Tolyatti in the 1980s. The young scientist worked in a software research institute: they were going to computerize the largest automotive industry enterprise. In 1989, he suggested that the plant management create a joint venture with foreign companies in order to purchase modern equipment, in particular, with the Italian company Logo Systems. LogoVAZ - the so-called joint venture. Officially, his goal was to automate the assembly process, but instead, the joint venture immediately took up trade. By the beginning of the 1990s, LogoVAZ had become the largest dealer of the car factory, over 10% of all products passed through it. In autumn 1993, Berezovsky founded the company AVVA (Automotive All-Russian Alliance); its founders included AvtoVAZ, the Samara Region Property Fund, the administration of Samara, a number of banks and commercial firms. The main goal is to raise money for the construction of a new plant with a capacity of 300 thousand cars per year for the production of the still non-existent popular model VAZ-1116. Issued bonds with a maturity of three years, to attract investors regularly played "frets".
Lada Grant is now No. 1 in sales in Russia. It is collected in Togliatti and Izhevsk
Lada Grant is now No. 1 in sales in Russia. It is collected in Togliatti and Izhevsk. Lada Grant is now No. 1 in sales in Russia. It is collected in Togliatti and Izhevsk.
Berezovsky, CEO of AVVA, in August 1994 became a member of the Board of Directors of AvtoVAZ. To establish control over the plant, he proposed an ingenious scheme (mathematician, however!) Of cross corporatization. Companies controlled by him and other AvtoVAZ executives bought up most of the company's shares. The property management scheme turned out to be extremely confusing: 64% of AVTOVAZ shares belonged to its own subsidiaries - AVVA (38%), CJSC AO AFK (24%) and IFC CJSC (2%). At the same time, AvtoVAZ itself owned 86% of the shares of AVVA, and AVVA, together with AvtoVAZ, owned 60% of the shares of the AFK AO … Try to figure it out! But for the management of the plant, this scheme was apparently very convenient: it remained the whole of the next decade, when the trace of Berezovsky in Togliatti had long gone cold.
Another “invention” of Boris Abramovich is re-export. For cars that went abroad, prices since Soviet times were set lower than for those that were sold at home. Without this dumping, a foreign buyer would not look at outdated Russian models. Foreign dealers were also provided with a large deferral of payments - up to a year. According to Berezovsky’s scheme, cars crossed the border only on paper, and then, as it were, returned to Russia. Some of these cars were nevertheless taken out, but they settled not far - in Latvia, Estonia, where then they were bought at considerable discounts by Russian drivers. I confess that in those days I myself drove a cherry “seven” from Tallinn - it was supposedly intended for Latin America.
In 1995, AvtoVAZ officially ceased cooperation with Berezovsky: he owed a large amount of money to the enterprise (they called it 1.2 billion dollars). AVVA stopped giving cars to investors, and then completely went bankrupt. There was no money in her account.
LOOKING FOR THE LEADERS
So, the plant produced more and more cars, some suppliers and dealers grew rich, but AvtoVAZ itself was inevitably slipping into bankruptcy. He constantly experienced a shortage of cash, did not pay taxes, delayed salaries. Despite huge demand, the release of new models was delayed. Money settled in the pockets of intermediaries, there was nothing left to modernize. Developed in the early 1990s, the VAZ-2110 was launched into the series only in 1995, and even then with many "childhood diseases".
It took another ten years for the next model - Kalina, the legacy of the AVVA project: it was a car of this class that Berezovsky was going to “master” with folk remedies. The first Kalina with fanfare left the assembly line in November 2004, however, the dealers of the car began to arrive only in late summer 2005. There was another fraud.
The Kalina conveyor allows producing up to 220 thousand cars a year, but so far it is far from fully loaded
The Kalina conveyor allows producing up to 220 thousand cars a year, but so far it is far from fully loaded. The Kalina conveyor allows producing up to 220 thousand cars a year, but so far it is far from fully loaded.
Even more difficult to master the all-terrain vehicle VAZ-2123, designed to change the Niva. The model was completely ready in the second half of the 1990s, but AvtoVAZ did not have the opportunity to bring it to the series. In 1998-2002, the new product was collected in pilot production. The model suddenly attracted General Motors concern, and in 2001 they created the JM-AvtoVAZ joint venture, which has been producing this car since 2002. True, already as a Chevrolet Niva.
Soon it became completely clear: without a serious foreign partner, AvtoVAZ will not be able to develop - it will not be able to last long. For 15 years, he lost the lion's share of the market, slipping from 90 to 30%. Envoys from the Daewoo, General Motors, Fiat, PSA companies came to Tolyatti … They came and went without being able to understand who the real owner of the Russian enterprise was, with whom to negotiate. The deadlock was resolved at the very top. In autumn 2005, the chairman of the board of directors, Vladimir Kadannikov (he headed the plant since 1988), was called to the presidential administration, after which he resigned. A few days later, the landing of Rosoboronexport landed in Togliatti.
The first Lada Grant, made at the Izhevsk Automobile Plant, is accepted by the President of the AvtoVAZ Group Igor Komarov
The first Lada Grant, made at the Izhevsk Automobile Plant, is accepted by the President of the AvtoVAZ Group Igor Komarov. The first Lada Grant, made at the Izhevsk Automobile Plant, is accepted by the President of the AvtoVAZ Group Igor Komarov.
From a legal point of view, a change of management team can be considered state racketeering. Kadannikov and his entourage were not owners, but the state at that time owned only 1.7% of the shares through the property fund. Vnesheconombank also had 8.41%. But the government easily replaced all the former leaders of AvtoVAZ, and in their place appointed a team of managers from Rosoboronexport. But selling Russian weapons to African countries is not at all like managing a huge car factory in a state of crisis … Then, it seems, hardly anyone thought about it. The Russian economy grew along with oil and gas prices, there was a lot of money - why not support the auto enterprise with them?
“Project C” (2006-2007) was stillborn
“Project C” (2006-2007) was stillborn. “Project C” (2006-2007) was stillborn.
In the first three years of taxiing, three management teams of Rosoboronexport were replaced. The administrative apparatus was bloated to indecency: at one time, the president of AvtoVAZ had 32 vice-presidents, each with its own staff. The process of agreeing on any document lasted for months, but the Vikings appointed astronomical salaries for themselves, as well as bonuses. For example, the chairman of the board of directors did not hesitate once to write himself an annual bonus of 1.6 billion rubles! Although he appeared at the plant at best once a month. At the beginning of the week, a special flight flew from Moscow to Samara - drove the Varangians to work, and at the end of the week brought them home.
VAZ-2118 - another version of the "Project C"
VAZ-2118 - another version of the "Project C". VAZ-2118 - another version of the "Project C".
Of the achievements of the first three years of Rosoboronexport’s work, one can only recall the development of the Lada-Priora. In fact, this model is the legacy of an old team. But the new one agreed with the Canadian company Magna to develop a platform for a Class C model and build additional capacities in Togliatti for 440 thousand cars a year. True, then it turned out that the car would cost as foreign counterparts, and the project was safely turned off.
In February 2008, a blocking stake was sold to the French concern Renault for $ 1 billion. The plant did not get the money, but went to buy back the shares. According to the results of the transaction, they were distributed as follows: Russian Technologies (which included Rosoboronexport), Troika Dialog (one of the largest shareholders at that time) and Renault each received 25% of the shares, the remaining securities remained in free float.
VAZ-2116, grown from Project C, was assembled in several copies
VAZ-2116, grown from Project C, was assembled in several copies. VAZ-2116, grown from Project C, was assembled in several copies.
But then the economic crisis was raging in the world - and AvtoVAZ received the full price for its incompetent management in recent years. Sales fell by half, the plant was on the verge of bankruptcy. In early spring 2009, the conveyor stopped several times, and the company's debt to the state and suppliers reached 14 billion rubles. To save AvtoVAZ, the government allocated an interest-free loan of 25 billion rubles for a period of one year. Two state programs were urgently devised - subsidizing interest rates on car loans and recycling. But still I had to go for austerity measures, reducing half of the plant’s employees. This “honor” - to carry out unpopular reforms in order to pull the enterprise out of the crisis - was awarded a new team of managers led by Igor Komarov (for more details - ЗР, 2012, No. 9).
The three-door Kalina did not go into the series: the fourth in the family body was considered superfluous
The three-door Kalina did not go into the series: the fourth in the family body was considered superfluous. The three-door Kalina did not go into the series: the fourth in the family body was considered superfluous.
So, the largest Russian car factory survived, now it makes a profit and is regularly calculated for debts. With the help of French partners, he is tightening product quality, screening out unreliable suppliers and putting new models on the conveyor. And not only under the Lada brand. The last of its was the Grant, which made the maximum use of the Kalinov platform. But completely different quality standards should set the model of the Renault Nissan Alliance. The first were the Lada Largus and Nissan Almera - both grew out of Renault Logan. Logan itself, too, will soon appear in Togliatti, but in a new guise. And starting in 2014, they will begin to collect original budget models of the revived Datsun brand here. They say that the same Kalino-grant platform, recognized by foreign partners as quite promising, will form the basis. The plans also include the development of French engines and gearboxes.
All schemes open in full size on a mouse click.
The logical result is the faith of the Renault Nissan Alliance in the future of the Russian plant. Not without reason foreign partners are ready to buy a controlling stake in AvtoVAZ. At the same time, they will additionally invest about 750 million dollars, and Russian Technologies will restructure the debt on favorable terms. Thus, Renault-Nissan will receive a 67.13% stake in the joint venture, which will control 74.5% of AvtoVAZ. The completion of the transaction is scheduled for next year.
It seems that now the auto giant has good prospects. Although today it is necessary to fight for the buyer, because he has a huge choice.