Renault-Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn is now the chairman of the AvtoVAZ board, the French carmaker said in a statement. The previous chairman and currently head of Russian Technologies, Sergey Chemezov, is now vice chairman. Ghosn's appointment is part of a deal that entails Renault and Nissan taking a majority stake in a joint venture with Russian Technologies that will control 74.5 percent of AvtoVAZ by mid-2014.
Ghosn is hoping that AvtoVAZ could help increase Renault-Nissan’s sales in Russia, where demand for vehicles is expected to further surge in coming years. Demand in Russia is even expected to surpass that in Germany by 2014. The high potential of Russia for further sales growth have reached the attention of a number of carmakers like Renault, Volkswagen Group, Ford Motor Co., prompting them to expand capacity in the country.
Following a meeting of AvtoVAZ general shareholders, Ghosn remarked that the Renault-Nissan alliance is committed to providing the resources and expertise “necessary to transform AvtoVAZ into a world-class” carmaker.
AvtoVAZ chief executive Igor Komarov remarked in 2012 that the carmaker’s partnership with Renault-Nissan will result to a surge of production at its main Togliatti plant, where output is expected to more than double to 1.2 million cars by 2017.
Renault-Nissan now controls eight seats in AvtoVAZ 15-member board. According to data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB), sales of AvtoVAZ and Renault-Nissan vehicles as well as Infiniti, dropped 5 percent in Russia to 333,841 units in the first five months of 2013. [source: just-auto.com]