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Russia now starts Moskvich production

The sanctions imposed by the West are taking their toll on Russia's automotive industry. Now Moscow wants to revive the well-known Moskvich brand - with a copy of a Chinese car.

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The sanctions imposed by the West are taking their toll on Russia's automotive industry. Now Moscow wants to revive the well-known Moskvich brand - with a copy of a Chinese car.

Moscow. Under pressure from Western sanctions, serial production of a new model of the Soviet cult car Moskvich has begun in Moscow. According to the Interfax news agency, the reopening of the Moskvich plant after the departure of the previous major shareholder Renault was attended on Wednesday by Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov and Moscow's mayor Sergei Sobyanin, among others. According to the report, the Moskvich-3 is a copy of the Chinese JAC S4 all-terrain city car.

In Russia, it will initially be produced as a gasoline engine with 150 hp. By the end of the year, an electric variant should also be rolling off the production line, it said. Sales are planned from the first quarter of 2023.

The Russian Ministry of Industry said that Moskvich production would secure around 40,000 jobs in Russia. The auto sector is one of the industries most affected by sanctions imposed by Western countries over Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. From January to October, sales of new cars in Russia fell by 60 percent year-on-year following the departure of Western manufacturers.

The Moskvich had been produced in the Soviet Union since 1946 - initially as a copy of the German Opel Kadett. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plant ran into financial difficulties. Production of the last mass-produced Moskvich model 2141 ("Svyatogor") was stopped in 2001 because it was not competitive. In 2006, insolvency proceedings were initiated against the concern. Renault later took over the plant and secured jobs. (dpa)

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