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Trying to Save Russia’s Punch Line of a Car
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
DEC. 21, 2014

TOGLIATTI, Russia — Ladas are the family cars that Russians love to hate.

Loathed as outmoded rattletraps, they have long inspired more punch lines than passion: How many people does it take to drive a Lada? Four; one to steer and three to push.

Conversely, Russians cherish Ladas as the last major Soviet car brand still produced from scratch. Of the estimated 40 million cars in Russia, more than one-third are Ladas, and the Granta, a small sedan, outsells every other car.

Yet they are endangered. The company’s market share diminished steadily after the Soviet Union collapsed, dropping to 17 percent from 70 percent. Long before the recent oil price collapse pummeled Russia’s economy, the Kremlin decided Lada needed rescuing.

It recruited Bo Inge Andersson, a blunt Swedish-American executive with long experience in Detroit, to overhaul Avtovaz, Lada’s corporate parent and a signature Russian industrial company.

“The biggest focus for us is to bring back the pride in Lada,” Mr. Andersson, 59, said during what seemed like a speed-walking race here through one of the world’s largest auto plants.

CONTINUE AT NYTIMES.COM
 

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Good luck to him. If he can resurrect that brand in any meaningful way, go for it. But he has his work cut out for him. I remember driving in those cars in the former Yugoslavia. They were quite an experience. Rough handling, smelly, austere in many ways. Not sure if they were a step up from the Zastavas that were everywhere back then....sheesh, good times...:D
 

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Good luck to him. If he can resurrect that brand in any meaningful way, go for it. But he has his work cut out for him. I remember driving in those cars in the former Yugoslavia. They were quite an experience. Rough handling, smelly, austere in many ways. Not sure if they were a step up from the Zastavas that were everywhere back then....sheesh, good times...:D
I had a LADA and drove to Oregon once and had a "GAS JOCKEY" refuse to fill it up as the engine says "MADE in the USSR" on the rocker cover
the car was very MUCH utilitarian and in ways like the OLD Mercedes cars from the 70's - designed to last forever and be fixed by the OWNER on the side of the road
 

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Well, well, Bo "hold their feet to the fire, forget about my feet!" Andersson is aboard!

With Bo putting the screws to the suppliers, they will magically think outside the box, steal the neighbors' cats and sell them for a box of chocolates, and turn simple calculators into V2V/Proximity Alert/Keep-Your-Lane devices, with a snap of the fingers!

Nothing but sunlight and smooth sailing ahead here! :rolleyes:
 

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I had a LADA and drove to Oregon once and had a "GAS JOCKEY" refuse to fill it up as the engine says "MADE in the USSR" on the rocker cover
the car was very MUCH utilitarian and in ways like the OLD Mercedes cars from the 70's - designed to last forever and be fixed by the OWNER on the side of the road
Cool that you had one. I trust the gas jockey incident was an isolated case. Amazing the mentality of some people...As for the utilitarian aspect, you are absolutely correct. There was such a DIY mindset in the eastern block, one that many in the west never truly appreciated. In many ways, these cars are a reflection of that mindset. The amount of abuse that these types of cars could take was impressive. I would argue that they were not "reliable" in the standard sense. Parts would fall off, they would squeak and rattle, and all sorts of smoke poured out in the strangest places. However, they would stay on the road; if they broke down, one could easily attempt any repairs--especially with parts so readily available. Interesting side note, with all the wrecks on the side of the road in the former Yugoslavia (this being during the wars and the whole infrastructure crumbling in the remaining republics), it was possible to have spare parts literally at your feet....
 

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When did that gas station event occur? Sounds like 50s-70s. Not many know what commies are now.

I had a LADA and drove to Oregon once and had a "GAS JOCKEY" refuse to fill it up as the engine says "MADE in the USSR" on the rocker cover
the car was very MUCH utilitarian and in ways like the OLD Mercedes cars from the 70's - designed to last forever and be fixed by the OWNER on the side of the road
Like the Cuber cars we see...1950s Americans?!

Cool that you had one. I trust the gas jockey incident was an isolated case. Amazing the mentality of some people...As for the utilitarian aspect, you are absolutely correct. There was such a DIY mindset in the eastern block, one that many in the west never truly appreciated. In many ways, these cars are a reflection of that mindset. The amount of abuse that these types of cars could take was impressive. I would argue that they were not "reliable" in the standard sense. Parts would fall off, they would squeak and rattle, and all sorts of smoke poured out in the strangest places. However, they would stay on the road; if they broke down, one could easily attempt any repairs--especially with parts so readily available. Interesting side note, with all the wrecks on the side of the road in the former Yugoslavia (this being during the wars and the whole infrastructure crumbling in the remaining republics), it was possible to have spare parts literally at your feet....
Well, the Soviets were (still are) a mortal enemy who despise our system and our ways.
 
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Interesting , Bo Inge has been CEO of GAZ Group since 2009 , Russia's largest industrial Group...produces 50% of light ,medium commercial vehicles and 65% of all buses . Over 656,000ft of renovated , modernized to world standards and employees , based on 2013 profits , received bonuses . GAZ is in partnerships with ; GM , Daimler , Volkswagon etc and it also produces alternative energies products using natural gas , methane , & combinations with gasoline . It's diesel engines meet latest Euro 4,5,6 standards . NOTE , the corporate breakdown sheet does not explain how much of it is owned by the government , any guesses here ??

One scary tactic that , to me , resembles the old KGB , is the Interior Russian Ministry of Internal affairs who instituted Civil Patrols , of which GAZ was one and highly commended for their 50 employee input , where these patrols in the Nizhy Novgorod district SUPPRESSED over 7,000 infringements of the laws . They also are charged with the ability to work with troubled families....perhaps to have the right to interfere or solve , even threaten ??? Notice that they are not the official police force but work outside , perhaps these are the ones who show up at successful , highly profitable businesses which Putin desires and arrest the owner on suspicion of fraud , and then the government takes over the business ? Or are the ones who show up at anti government rallies and take away the dissenters ? What a way to effectively control the people , who needs the KGB , mind you perhaps the Interior Ministry of Internal Affairs is run by former KGB people , of which Putin is a prime example .

The LADA story sounds cute , but in the hands of this modern industrial giant , the Lada will not only be an effective and LOW cost quality vehicles for the Russians , but will in all likelihood be aimed at satellite surrounding ones and most importantly in India , where Russia has steadily increased its presence there with military and commercial equipment and maintenance infrastructure . Having a solid foothold there with high volume LADA and other comm.&ind. machines sales in the second most populated country in the world , would be a big plus . Lastly , though I haven't looked into where India gets its oil , I wouldn't be at all surprised if a Russian pipeline or two isn't already there or intends to be .
 

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Obviously Bo has proven his toughness and developed a "rapport" with the Russian powers that be. Good luck with his new challenge. If the existing management doesn't get on board they may well find themselves in a gulag.
 

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Obviously Bo has proven his toughness and developed a "rapport" with the Russian powers that be. Good luck with his new challenge. If the existing management doesn't get on board they may well find themselves in a gulag.
That pretty much sounds like his speed. Iron fist, FOS, he and Ivan must get along like hot dogs and musturd.
 

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With the rouble exchange rate as it is Lada future is guaranteed! :D

How much is a Lada Kalina, in USD it must be like $2500 new :fall:

Cool that you had one. I trust the gas jockey incident was an isolated case. Amazing the mentality of some people...As for the utilitarian aspect, you are absolutely correct. There was such a DIY mindset in the eastern block, one that many in the west never truly appreciated. In many ways, these cars are a reflection of that mindset. The amount of abuse that these types of cars could take was impressive. I would argue that they were not "reliable" in the standard sense. Parts would fall off, they would squeak and rattle, and all sorts of smoke poured out in the strangest places. However, they would stay on the road; if they broke down, one could easily attempt any repairs--especially with parts so readily available. Interesting side note, with all the wrecks on the side of the road in the former Yugoslavia (this being during the wars and the whole infrastructure crumbling in the remaining republics), it was possible to have spare parts literally at your feet....
I don`t think so, it was relatively widely reported in Canada (down to newspaper car reviews) of Ladas in the 1980`s... "be careful driving south" kind of things...

Anyway did anyone click the link and see the Lada assembly line workers? Dayum! If you see a US assembly line, all these fat old guys... I think... I shall move to Mother Rossiya! :lmao:



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With the ruble exchange rate as it is Lada future is guaranteed! :D

How much is a Lada Kalina, in USD it must be like $2500 new :fall:
You are we problem have no considering Bank of Nigeria loaning is for you very much!! And thanking for!!

Love,
Idi and Vlad
 
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