Renault's Ghosn Takes On a Russian Relic
The AvtoVAZ (AVAZ.RTS) car factory in the central Russian city of Togliatti seems frozen in time. In a decrepit, mile-long building, boxy Lada sedans are turned out by 40-year-old production equipment—installed when Italy helped the Soviet Union build a carbon copy of a Fiat plant. On an icy February morning, one assembly line has shut down and others are operating fitfully because a snowstorm has disrupted shipments of needed components. Dozens of partially-built cars sit in a corner of the vast plant. "We'll finish them as soon as we get the parts," says Valery Shendyapin, a cheerful supervisor in a bright blue jacket.
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