These were wonderful holidays, followed by others. In ceremonial speeches, it always sounded: “Once such an event happened, it means that the domestic auto industry is alive!” Everyone clapped, and no one argued with this, but still, deep down, most of those present were convinced that, let’s say, let’s unite with this concept, “Izh-Auto”and“AvtoTOR”are not entirely fair. Even if both plants are located in Russia. Still, by the “Russian auto industry” we still primarily mean our “old” plants - AvtoVAZ, GAZ, KamAZ, and new assembly plants … It seems that even the term “domestic auto industry” does not stick to them - it's so heavy, condo. But, in spite of everything - his own … After all, two-thirds of motorists still drive around the country in “our cars”.
That's just "their" car industry for a long time something not happy with the holidays. No, on the catwalks it was crowded with concept cars, they just did not change for years, and they died quietly without knowing the conveyor fuss. And suddenly - such an event: the long-awaited "Lada-Kalina" from November 18 became serial! It happened in a record short time for domestic industry: only five years! And what is even more surprising - due to investments of AvtoVAZ JSC itself (already invested over $ 500 million)! And what’s most fantastic - Kalina didn’t replace any obsolete model on the conveyor, but supplemented AvtoVAZ’s lineup; specially for her, a new building has been opened on the territory of the enterprise!
It was very solemn, bright and - interesting.
Three cars, white, red and blue, got off the new conveyor in their own right (several dozens more “hung” in varying degrees of readiness). They were received by official dealers of AvtoVAZ from the three largest cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Distinguished guests and company managers proudly said that “this is not just the launch of a new car model, it is a breakthrough in the domestic automotive industry, a symbol of the renewal of the entire industry”, “this is a significant event for all of Russia” …
It's hard to argue with that. But the many guests of the holiday and millions of Russians were primarily concerned not with high words, but with simple questions: “what”, “when” and, naturally, “how much”. Answers to some of them were heard right at the ceremony on November 18, to others - not to this day. What did our correspondents in Togliatti know?
So far, the assembly of sedans in the standard standard configuration has begun on the conveyor: electric power steering, front electric windows, a filter for the ventilation and heating systems, an eight-valve 1.6-liter engine that meets Euro III toxicity standards (a driver airbag has been added since 2006). In the future, there will be a complete set of “lux” (plus air conditioning and electric mirrors) and even a “super-lux” with a leather interior, as well as a hatchback and station wagon (in a year).
First, several hundred “standards”, issued in late 2004 and early 2005, will go to dealers (3-5 machines each) to study demand and receive orders. Mass sales will begin only in the second half of 2005. The 2005 plan provides for the production of 20–40 thousand cars, and the plant can reach its design capacity of 220 thousand cars per year in 2007.
It is assumed that the retail price of models from the Kalina family will vary from 7.2 thousand to 8.5 thousand dollars, depending on the configuration and options.
The first cars were sold on November 18 to dealers for $ 7.5 thousand each. Since own 1.6-liter engines for the release of Kalina are clearly not enough (they are barely enough for the tenth family, and there are no reserves), AvtoVAZ executives do not hide the fact that they rely on licensed engines of the ECOTEK family. Apparently, such a "Kalina" will cost at least 1 thousand dollars more expensive than the base model.
In any case, it is clear that the path of the new car will not be strewn with roses. Surely, many “childhood diseases” will have to be defeated, which many new cars have, and especially a Russian one. Yes, and Kalina has plenty of competitors today … But while the holiday is booming, I don’t feel like thinking about it. Today we would like to wish the newcomer a “happy swim” and that he finds his buyer. Indeed, Kalina is actually a huge step in the development of our automobile industry. I really want him to become successful.
In just the first few days after the start of the release of Kalina, hundreds of responses to this event came to the website of the magazine Behind the Wheel. We publish only a few opinions.
Do not forget that those cars that produced VAZ, have always been "homemade". Maybe even “Kalina” will not turn into another example of “eternal tuning”. Dmitriy
Of course, once again I want to hope that the car will be of high quality, comparable in this indicator with foreign cars, but doubts arise. Why is it assembled on neighboring lines so that the car can be rolled out at the gate, and on the new one they will do well? Very doubtful. Michael
All the same, ours cannot keep up with world leaders. In the best case, the plant will completely go under the wing, for example, GM; in the worst case, it will close completely. Once I bought the brainchild of our car industry (in 2002, the new 2112th), and now only very strong arguments will force me to take the same step! Taxmin
I think that you need to drive your cars, not strangers. Personally, my hand does not rise to pay the workers of another country when they are sitting without pay. I do not understand our government, which drives foreign cars. Alexander at the 93rd
The new VAZ advertised bucket is 20 years behind its European counterparts! It will be a great success if information on quality stability is confirmed. Novel
Design?.. Features?.. Controversial, but acceptable. I really want to write about the operation in a year, then the whole picture will become clear. DDT