I see much clearer in AvtoVAZ now than six months ago. The shot is worth to be played... "While the crisis has severely hit the post-Soviet giant automotive and increased pressure on Renault, 25 shareholder, Christian Estève, Vice-President of the French group and its leader in Eurasia (including activities in Russia), is still optimistic. Has a Government report published in the Moscow press not announced the risk of bankruptcy of AvtoVAZ Vladimir Poutine, the Prime Minister, did not understand that shareholders will have to dip into the portfolio, in the event of refusal, the risk to be diluted in the capital
Christian Estève, who met Vladimir Putin just after these recent statements, is reassuring. "At no time we felt threatened", he told the "echoes". "We came in AvtoVAZ not to make a financial transaction, but to take a position on the Russian market, which we consider strategic." I clearly said President Vladimir Putin: we want to remain a strategic partner of AvtoVAZ, but do not have to cash to participate in its financial restructuring. On the other hand, we can bring our technology and our experience. Vladimir Poutine replied that he expected us not of cash, but our expertise.
While AvtoVAZ and Renault continued their discussions to produce all of the vehicles on same line, Christian Estève admits that the first half was difficult with regard to the dialogue between the two groups. "We were difficult and had decided to change our way of functioning." "Initially, AvtoVAZ has cashed in the crisis but has failed to respond," he said. The Group received first aid from the State of 33 billion roubles (EUR 720 million) to resolve its liquidity problems.
But in the eyes of Renault, is first and foremost the arrival this summer for a new boss, Igor Komarov, which boosted the joint projects. "We again speak a common language." "The ways of solutions are drawn", provides Christian Estève. In the spring, teams of Renault had repatriated Togliatti, the city on the Volga where AvtoVAZ has a vast and aging plant. Today, 50 of its engineers is on a mission.
The work plan is twofold. First axis: the modernization of a platform of AvtoVAZ to produce a vehicle "ultra" low cost". "With this future model, AvtoVAZ is able to make a cardboard on the Russian market and abroad. "We help them intake technology and experience," said Christian Estève. But it is the second axis which is the most ambitious: the implementation of operation of the licence of the Logan platform acquired by AvtoVAZ last year to produce, from 2012, two derived models: Logan break and the Logan pick-up. "We could then add our productions on this same platform: first Nissan with one or three patterns, then Renault with two models, says Christian Estève.". This will bring volume and help AvtoVAZ to move closer to the threshold of 500,000 cars per year threshold for all of its channels to ensure profitability after its restructuring is made. For Renault, it will also benefit: we will benefit from the competitive production costs and will have a capacity to respond to the future development of the Russian market. "The financing of this investment will be in proportion to the volumes produced. The Renault could be EUR 240 million. But negotiations are continuing.