BREAKING: Renault enters strategic partnership with AutoVAZ

Last year, AutoVAZ said it was looking to purchase platforms from a European auto manufacturer for use in a range of new products. Earlier today in Togliatti, Russia the search came to an end. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the head of Russian Technologies, AutoVAZ chairman Sergey Chemezov and Troika Capital Partners president Serguei Skvortsov. The MOU sets the stage for a strategic partnership that will result in technology sharing between the two automakers, with Renault providing engineering know-how, platforms, and powertrains to AutoVAZ for use in upcoming products. A particular focus will be placed on strengthening and growing the Lada brand, and Renault's marketing power will be leveraged to promote AutoVAZ product.

AutoVAZ will undergo a capital restructuring in early 2008, after which Russian Technologies and Renault will become equal shareholders in AutoVAZ, controlling a combined 50% of total shares. In addition to the obvious product benefits that AutoVAZ will reap from the Renault tech infusion, the French automaker gets to pad its annual report, as AutoVAZ sales will be consolidated under Renault. Due to AutoVAZ's volume, Russia should become Renault's largest market, and according to the attached announcement, Renault has already begun upwardly adjusting its 2009 forecast. Here's hoping for a revamped Lada Niva that combines updated tech with the spirit of the original and that can still be driven underwater if some crazy Russians decide to have a little fun.

[Source: Renault]

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