Russian media reported on the visit of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to the former Renault plant, where, after the French company leaves the Russian market and the plant is transferred to state ownership, they plan to organize the production of Moskvich cars. During the visit, Sobyanin signed a technology partnership agreement with KamAZ CEO Sergey Kogogin. At the first stage, as Sobyanin stated , the plant will carry out "SKD assembly of machines from friendly countries."
Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the winners of the "Leaders of Russia" contest said :
“There are a lot of projects in which I have taken part, but the most interesting for me personally is the revival of the Moskvich plant. This is a significant story for me. The first car I learned to drive was my grandfather's 41st Moskvich.<…>
The challenge there is not easy.<…> It is necessary, of course, not to strive for import substitution, but to acquire new own advanced and promising technologies and technological keys. We have a good base. "Aurus" made, a good car. True, we did this with partners, but we acquired our own competencies and our own engineering school. Everything is there - the engine, transmission, steering, I'm not talking about paint and so on - everything can be done. Of course, if you are constantly involved in assembly and even localization, these are still not your own technology keys. ”
The news from the very beginning looked somewhat strange: KamAZ had never been engaged in the production of cars, except for the assembly of the Oka minicar until 2006 at the ZMA plant owned by KamAZ, which was subsequently sold. In addition, at the end of June, KamAZ was included in the US, EU and UK sanctions lists, and now foreign companies, including those from “friendly countries”, that will cooperate with it, are threatened with secondary sanctions.
Nevertheless, during the signing of the contract, the model range of the revived brand was presented - four so far unnamed models. Olga Pautova, a correspondent for the Vremya program, said :
“By the way, today the workers saw for the first time exactly which models they will be building, so very soon these workshops will become noisy again.”
Upon closer inspection, the Moskvichs turned out to be models of the Chinese company JAC, which already has experience of partnering with KamAZ: in 2021, they released the KamAZ Compass light truck on the JAC platform. There were no comments from the Chinese automaker regarding the Moskvich revival project.
It remained unclear how the Chinese company was going to circumvent the sanctions regime. And the very next day came the answer to this question: no way. The Russian portal AvtoVzglyad reported :
“In the office of the JAC brand, the AvtoVzglyad portal refused to comment on the obvious similarity between the sketches and serial “Chinese”. And KamAZ generally sent an angry statement, noting that the information “about the presentation of the Moskvich models that took place is unreliable.”
“The visualized images of cars presented at the stands as part of the signing of the cooperation agreement by the Mayor of Moscow S. Sobyanin and the General Director of PJSC 'KAMAZ' S. Kogogin are not prototypes and have nothing in common with the real models that will be produced at MAZ 'Moskvich', — confidently stated the press service of the cargo auto giant.
Probably, the Chinese company was not asked for its permission to use the images of its models and she hastened to disown the project involving KamAZ, which fell under the sanctions. So the SKD project seems to be fake.
As for the domestic family of representative cars Aurus, which Putin mentioned as an example of a “good base”, it is designed on the Volkswagen Phaeton platform.