Russia needs cars, so it’s rebooting this Soviet-era brand

Russia needs cars, so it’s rebooting this Soviet-era brand

After Renault this week announced its exit from the Russian auto market amid the country’s war with Ukraine, Moscow’s mayor announced that its plant would be used to relaunch the Soviet-era Moskvich brand.

Little known outside the former Soviet Union and its dependent countries, Moskvich was founded around 1930 and operated until 1991. As with many car brands from communist bloc countries, Moskvich faced quality problems. According to the book “Cars for Comrades” by Louis Siegelbaum, Soviet officials cited several malfunctions of the Moskvich 408 in the 1960s, which had a 50-horsepower engine.

The author describes it, simply, as a “terrible car.”

Despite these persistent problems, the Soviet government made an agreement with French automaker Renault to modernize the plant and increase production to 200,000 vehicles by 1975, according to the book. Production ceased with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Western automakers such as Renault departed. Part of the former Moskvich plant reopened in 2005 as a joint venture between Renault and the city of Moscow.

Renault also had a controlling stake in AvtoVAZ, the parent company of the famous Russian car brand Lada. Renault said in its statement this week that the controlling stake was sold to the Russian government, while its controlling stake in the Moscow plant, where Renault cars are made, was sold to the city of Moscow. Renault later left open the possibility of returning to the Russian market.

Russia needs cars, so it's rebooting this Soviet-era brand

The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, wrote in a blog, “The foreign owner decided to close the Renault plant in Moscow. It is their right, however, we cannot allow several thousand strong workers to find themselves out of work.” a job. “Therefore, I decided to register the plant as a city property and resume production of passenger cars under the historical brand Moskvich.”

“In 2022, we are turning a new page in the history of Moskvich,” Sobyanin added. USSR map, 

Mayer wrote that the company would try to keep all existing employees of the plant to work there. The plant will also try to get most of the auto parts from Russian companies. According to the Sobyanin blog, the plant will start producing conventional gasoline cars, but will, at some point, switch to electric cars.

Soviet Union meaning,

Sobyanin did not specify which models of cars would be produced under the name Moskvich at the former Renault plant in the near future.

The Moskvich has its roots in some of the first Soviet-style cars from the 1920s and 1930s. After World War II, the company began to produce cars under the name Moskvich, which means “Muscovite”, or a native of Moscow.

According to the Autostate Analytical Agency, about 200,000 Moskvich cars are still registered in Russia today.

What is Soviet Union?,

 In general, cars produced in the centrally controlled economies of the Soviet Union and its satellite states were not known for their quality.


Some cars made in communist bloc countries, such as the East German Trabant, found a cult following in the West. Trabant’s body was made of a material called duroplast, which was similar to plastic but made of a mixture of wood pulp, cotton fibers, and resin.


However change is possible. The Koda, which was built in then-communist Czechoslovakia, was taken over by the Volkswagen Group after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is now headquartered in the Czech Republic, and has become one of the most well-known and profitable brands of the VW Group.

What is Soviet Union?,


Soviet Union meaning,

USSR map,

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