The Russian government announced today that it has taken over management of AvtoVAZ, Russia's biggest automaker and GM's joint venture partner in Russia.
According to Reuters, analysts believe the Russian automaker needed greater state support to deal with increasing foreign competition.

A new board of directors, dominated by state officials, was installed by the shareholders Thursday. Igor Yesipovsky, head of the trade and technical division of Russia's arms export agency Rosoboronexport, was named general director of AvtoVAZ.

Unfortunately, the new management does not seem to have any industry experience. They do have access to government financial help - AvtoVAZ has asked for up to $5 billion in state support over the next five years.

The GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture began building the Chevrolet Niva SUV (pictured) in 2002 at its new manufacturing plant in Togliatti, adding the Viva sedan in late 2004.



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