Due to the economic crisis, plans came up for AvtoVAZ's factories to build Nissan's B segment cars starting 2012. Vitaly Vilchik, AvtoVAZ's acting vice president, said that the company intends to assemble one of the 'B' class models offered by the Renault-Nissan alliance. Nissan is an alliance partner of Renault, which holds a 25 percent stake in AvtoVAZ.
According to an unnamed source, Nissan presented an offer to organize the assembly of its cars at the AvtoVAZ factory in the Samara region.
This summer, Nissan opened a $200 million car plant in Russia's second city of St Petersburg, with a capacity of 50,000 vehicles annually.
The company source added that Nissan realizes that the St Petersburg facility is not sufficient and is anticipating a recovery of the market. Very recently, AvtoVAZ announced that it was cutting 25% of its workers due largely to declining car sales in Russia.
This is a quite unexpected turn of events since before the crisis hit, Russia had been trailing Germany as Europe's foremost car market and was on track to overtake it.
Definitely, a production deal with Nissan could help AvtoVAZ. A joint venture involving AvtoVAZ, Nissan and Renault has been reported to be in the works and would revolve around making car parts in Russia.