Russia resumes car production with stripped-down Lada Granta

Lada, Russia's largest automaker, has resumed production despite numerous sanctions and shortages. The company introduced a new variant of the Granta, one of its most popular models, stripped of several features that rely on imported components.
The Russian government nationalized Lada's parent company, AvtoVAZ, in early 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine, after buying Paris-based Renault's 68 percent stake. The deal has reportedly cost Russia a token ruble, though Renault has a six-year option to buy back the stake. With full control of the company, government officials set out to figure out how to build a car without relying on foreign suppliers.
As shown above, the answer is a bare-bones version of the Granta called the Classic. It's marketed as the cheapest new passenger car available in Russia, with prices starting at 761,500 rubles (around US$13,200) and powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that sends 90 horsepower to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox . It's missing a lot of things: There's no traction control, a passenger airbag, air conditioning or remote keyless entry. Buyers will receive body-colored exterior trim, power steering, and power front windows as consolation prizes. But everything that requires foreign parts to be manufactured has been removed.
It is worth noting that there are some discrepancies between the spec sheet released on June 10 and the official Lada website. The former lists that air conditioning isn't available on the Classic, while the latter states it's part of an option package.
Buyers have three body styles to choose from: sedan, hatchback, and station wagon. All three are built in Togliatti, Russia. It's too early to say how long they will remain in production; AvtoVAZ President Maksim Sokolov said Lada is working closely with federal and regional governments to "develop the capabilities of Russian suppliers", presumably to bring back some of the missing features sooner or later.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports claim that stripped down versions of Lada's other models (including the 45-year-old Niva) are on the way.

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