The head of AvtoVAZ, Maxim Sokolov, told the RBC television channel that the concern could involve “hundreds” of those sentenced to forced labor to produce cars in the Samara region. According to him, they will be paid a salary. Earlier, the department of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Samara Region reported that prisoners were recruited to work with the concern in connection with an increase in the assembly volume of Lada Vesta NG.
According to him, the main factor hindering the growth of the concern now is not technology, components or sanctions, but a shortage of labor. In this regard, Sokolov noted, it is planned to attract about 4 thousand workers to the plant in the Samara region.
On June 14, Interfax, citing the department of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Samara Region, wrote that AvtoVAZ plans to involve the prisoners in the work. The message of the regional administration noted that such a decision is connected with the concern’s plans to increase the output on the first line of the conveyor (assembly of Lada Vesta NG): from September – by 28%, from January 2024 – by 40%. In addition, the decision is related to the difficult situation on the labor market both in Togliatti and in the region as a whole. The Federal Penitentiary Service then noted that prisoners could close up to 50% of the concern’s personnel shortage. AvtoVAZ did not comment on the message of the Federal Penitentiary Service.
“Well maybe hundreds, maybe one hundred, maybe two hundred”,
– Sokolov told RBC, estimating the number of prisoners who can be connected to work in Togliatti.
On June 14, the new Lada Aura was presented on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. On June 16, the head of Sberbank, German Gref, decided to test the car, but the sedan did not start the first time. Later, representatives of AvtoVAZ reported that the problem arose after a test drive – the sedan was left in gear.
“The protection [from starting the engine with the gear engaged] worked, it did not start until the gearbox was moved to the neutral position,” the concern explained.
Gref was shown the car by the head of AvtoVAZ, Maxim Sokolov. Also on the test drive was the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov. He had no problems, Siluanov got behind the wheel and drove a circle.
Lada Aura from the Vesta series is equipped with a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine with 122 hp. and automatic transmission. It can be launched into mass production next year. So far, it is assumed that the price of a Russian car will be about 2.5 million rubles.
Lada Vesta NG
On November 18, 2022, AvtoVAZ announced the release of the first test Lada Vesta NG, and mass production started in March. The car is presented in three bodies: sedan, wagon SW and cross wagon SW Cross. In the basic configuration, the car received ABS, air conditioning, two frontal airbags, electric and heated mirrors, heated front seats, power windows and rear disc brakes.
The cost of Vesta NG recommended by AvtoVAZ was from 1.239 million rubles. for the basic Comfort class with a 90 hp engine. and a 5-speed manual transmission, and up to 1.69 million rubles. for the station wagon SW Cross with a 106 hp engine. and 5-speed manual. The Autonews.ru portal, in turn, reports that the real cost in the salons is much higher – about 1.7 million in the basic version.
On June 14, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, citing Alexander Shaprinsky, director for development of the Pragmatika car dealership network, reported that since June 9, when the car went on sale, more than 15 cars have been sold in St. Petersburg stores, more than half of them in Comfort package. According to him, the majority of buyers are individuals, but there are corporate clients.
On June 14, the Lada X-Cross 5 was presented at SPIEF, which will appear in car dealerships in the future. The new X-Cross was created in partnership with the Chinese FAW based on the Bestune T77 crossover, which has been produced since 2018 in China and sold under the original brand in Russia since 2021. AvtoVAZ previously claimed that the car would be “substantially localized”. As the journalists noticed, the logo of the Chinese concern remained on the steering wheel of the Lada X-Cross 5 shown at the forum.
The head of the press service of the Avtostat analytical agency, Azat Timerkhanov, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the cost of the car has not yet been determined and could range from 2 million to 2.5 million. It is expected that the production of the crossover will be launched at the former Nissan plant In Petersburg. By the end of the year, they promise to make 10,000 of these cars.
The car will be sold in Russia with front-wheel drive, a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and a 7-speed “robot”. Power is not specified, the original FAW claims 160 hp.