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  • Date of publication: 31 August 2020
  • 3586
  • Battle for Europe: Lada wants to conquer Germany and Austria


    Not so long ago the very idea of ​​exporting Lada to Central Europe was perceived as an anecdote, but the brand's sales are growing, and in some countries they have already caught up with well-known brands

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Not so long ago the very idea of ​​exporting Lada to Central Europe was perceived as an anecdote, but the brand's sales are growing, and in some countries they have already caught up with well-known brands


The sales of Lada cars in the EU countries increased by 29% in the result of 2017 and amounted to 5 160 cars, according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). In December 435 cars were sold, which is 11.8% more than a year ago.

Not so long ago, the very idea of ​​exporting Lada to Europe was seen as an anecdote, but please: The Federal Office of Transport of Germany reported on the registration last year of 2563 Lada, which is 57% higher than the result of 2016. Modest figures? How to see: say, the number of registered for the same period Lexus - 3002 cars, SsangYong - 2332. That is, this can be said without smiles and winks.

Last summer, the head of the Volga Automobile Plant, Nicolas More, announced plans to increase the export of cars from 10 to 20%. The reasons are clear: in 2014, the Russian market sold 2.4 million cars, in 2017 - only 1.5 million, and there is no reason for significant growth. Exports remain the only option: according to the vice-president of AvtoVAZ, Jan Ptachek, sales should be increased not only in traditional markets for Lada - like Kazakhstan or Belarus - but also in Central Europe. How does the Russian brand intend to compete for one of the most highly competitive markets in the world?

Updating the lineup

The most popular car in Europe, AvtoVAZ, is Lada 4X4 (the former "Niva" - the right to use the brand was transferred to the company GM-AvtoVAZ) - say, in Germany, this model accounts for more than half of sales, 1470 cars. The off-road car has practically no rivals: some of the competitors lost their off-road qualities in the process of evolution, the rest has moved to the premium segment. Lada 4X4 has not changed much since 1977 - and over the years it has become its advantage.

"AvtoVAZ" scrupulously refers to the model: according to the chief designer of the brand Steve Mattin, work on the new generation will last 5-10 years, although usually the preparatory cycle takes 4 years. "AvtoVAZ" can not be "missed" with a new SUV.

At the same time the Lada 4X4 family grows with modifications with improved finish: in 2015, in Europe, sales of the "luxury" version of Urban Taiga started. The marketing move warmed the interest of Europeans to the old car: in 2017 Bild edition jokingly compared Taiga with Bentley Bentayga - customers of the last brand studied the SUV and came to the conclusion that the Russian Taiga is quite pretty.

Another locomotive of Avtovaz is Lada Vesta: in February-March 2017 car sales started in the markets of Hungary, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria. According to the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), after that, the total sales of Lada in the European Union grew by 31.7% in six months (2,500 vehicles).

Unlike Lada 4X4, Vesta is an unrecognizable "nostalgie car", but a new model that performs in the budget segment, where competition is very tough. The combined German auto club (ADAC) tested the sedan: Lada Vesta was rated "satisfactory", ahead of, for example, the model Dacia Sandero Stepway. Part of the claims - for example, lack of dynamics - will be eliminated, after certification of the 1.8-liter engine.

Last September, the Volzhsky Automobile Plant launched the Lada Vesta SW station wagon and the cross-country model SW Cross, created on its basis. The sight to foreign markets is quite obvious: in Russia such cars do not enjoy special love, but abroad "stylish" versatile persons are more popular than traditional sedans. A month earlier, a modification of Vesta Exclusive, combining a 122-horsepower engine with a manual transmission - a completely European "bundle".

Legislative support

However, some new models are not enough to transplant Europeans to Lada: cars of brands abroad can be borrowed at 0.2-05% per annum, Russian brand - 4-5%. This negates the advantage in price, and in fact Lada aims to be cheaper than competitors. The solution to the problem may be preferential lending for foreigners - this was announced in September 2017 by the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. "Therefore, we will subsidize in the same way as it does in our country," the minister said. It was stated that about 30 billion rubles could be allocated for these purposes.

Another proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade is to subsidize discounts on the sale of Russian cars abroad in exchange for the disposal of an old car, Vedomosti reports citing its own source. Presumptive conditions: the machine must be in the same hands for at least three years, and its age - exceed 10 years. It is assumed that the discount can amount to 50,000 rubles.