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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31: Where are the now - the Lada edition

Remember the Lada? Of course you do, everyone does and most folks have some sort of good or bad Lada memory (usually bad). The Lada, that was sold in North America, was the older Fiat 124 based model that, the Russians were able to build and sell after its run as a Fiat in Europe. Solid, if not the most exciting car in the world. Cheap? You bet and that was its appeal over here and in Europe. So after the Iron Curtain came down, what happened to this relic of the communist era?

Most of their product line was old, cheap to repair and simple to work on, so they ended up as taxis and police cars throughout the old communist countries, as well as Africa and the Caribbean. But you can only sell older design vehicles for so long, especially in the new capitalistic Russia. Some of the Iron Curtain companies teamed up (read, were bought) by a western manufacturer and their product lines were updated and subsequently became strong competitors in Europe. AvtoVAZ, Lada's parent company, was the exception, as they kept making old cars for years without any outside help. It was only in 2008 that Renault/Nissan bought into this company to the tune of 25%. Good old Renault, they seem to have bought into everything lately.

So where is Lada now?


Sure, they still sell the older models that have been in production with a few upgrades for many years, like the Priora above, but it's the new models that have pushed AvtoVAZ to 20% of the Russian car market in 2015.

Remember the old Niva?


It quietly rusted away in North America, but in other markets this tough little sport ute has been plodding along for over forty years with few changes, although its name has changed several times for those markets, now it is called the Lada 4x4 (why not, as that's what it is?). As suv's grew in popularity, it has even spawned a four door version, the Urban........


If it wasn't for the current economic issues in Russia, this old relic would have been replaced by the 2016 Chevrolet Riva. Why not a Nissan, I have no idea, but these days auto alliances are all over the map.

All these models are the old Lada, as their latest products are what will sustain this company in the home market and beyond. Like the X-Ray, a cute little suv that, sports Lada's interesting new signature design language on its side.........


 Or the new sedan, the Vesta.......


......which also shows off those new design markings. How proud would the average Russian be to have a new Vesta of their very own parked outside of their dacha? Well, look at this happy fellow (let's call him Vlad), all pumped up as he leaves his new ride for all the world to see and to let them know that, he, Vlad, has finally made it........


Lucky guy.

Recently shown as a concept is this Vesta wagon........
......a good looking crossover(?) that would fit in anywhere in the world. Might be a reason to tackle the North American market again, unless some fool calls it a station wagon by mistake. In which case, they would need to ship them all back to the motherland.

Obviously Lada is putting is putting a lot of their eggs into the Vesta's basket, as they just showed a version meant to appeal to junior oligarchs everywhere........


This very special stretched version is called the Vesta Signature. Production bound? Not for now, as apparently only ten will be built for company use. Hey, think about it. What if Vlad makes it extra big and although a Maybach is way out of his range, how about a Vesta Signature? Check out the luxury within that relatively humble, lengthened bodywork.......


Yes sir, put Vlad in the back of this beaut and all those neighbours, driving their new Skoda's, will turn green with envy.

Lada has come a long way and now it has the updated product to build on that 20% market share. So now you know, where Lada is now and will continue to be in the future........a major player in their home market and most likely around the world. 

Until next time......




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