VIENNA –SA unveils its Latitude sedan, while Russian partner OAO introduces its first Lada car based on a Renault platform, at this year’s Moscow auto show that runs through Sept. 5.
The Latitude is the most-important global premiere in Moscow. Based on theSamsung SM5, the 193-in. (489-cm) long car will be sourced from Renault Samsung Motor Co. Ltd.’s plant in Busan, South Korea.
It will be available with 2.0L, 2.5L and 3.5L gasoline engines, as well as 2.0L and 3.0L diesel powerplants, depending on the markets. The car goes on sale in Morocco and Algeria at the end of September and then in Russia and Ukraine, followed by the remaining 50 countries where it will be offered.
, Russia’s largest auto maker, unveils the Lada Project R90 7-seat station wagon as its main attraction at the show. The car is a version of the Dacia Logan MCV with a slightly restyled frontend. Start of production is scheduled for first-quarter 2012.
AvtoVAZ also introduces a version of the Lada Priora with a modified front bumper and some other minor changes.
Another significant new car at the Moscow show is theRB subcompact family sedan concept, which suggests how Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.’s first car to be built at its new St. Petersburg plant, OOO Hyundai Motor Mfg. Russia, will look.
The car’s license plate bears the letters RB and “Gordost Rossii,” which translates into “The Pride of Russia.”
“The strong design hints of the production version are highlighted in the concept RB’s large hexagonal front grill, headlamps and L-shaped fog lamps,”says in a prepared statement. The car will be powered by 1.4L or 1.6L Gamma gasoline engines. Serial production is set to start in St. Petersburg in January.
The name of the car has yet to be determined. The auto maker has organized an online contest in which participants can select one of five suggested monikers: the i25, Solaris, Spirit, iD and Axis.
One rival to the Hyundai car will be the new VW Polo sedan, to be built at the OOOGroup Rus plant in Kaluga. Production was launched this spring, but the car is making its debut at the Moscow show and Russian sales are just getting started.
Russian-assembler OAO Sollers unveils the Ssangyong New Actyon cross/utility vehicle at the show. The CUV, known as the Korando C in South Korea, will be launched at the OOO Sollers-Dalny Vostok plant in Vladivostok in December from semi-knocked-down kits.
Sollers also shows the locally assembledLinea sedan, with first vehicles already on the way to the dealers.
The car is assembled at the OAO Sollers-Naberezhnye Chelny plant from complete-knocked-down kits sourced fromAutomobiles SpA’s Turkish joint venture, Tofas Türk Otomobil Fabrikası A.S.
Russian assembly of the Linea originally was set for 2008 but repeatedly has been postponed.
OAO Ulyanovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, which also belongs to Sollers, unveils the UAZ Patriot Sport SUV. Production of the vehicle, a shorter version of the Patriot SUV, started in July.
OOO Taganrogsky Avtomobilny Zavod (TagAZ), the Russian auto maker mainly known as an assembler of previous-generation Hyundai cars and which was accused by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of stealing technology for its Vega sedan last year, exhibits concept cars as well as rebadged Chinese models.
Show-goers at the TagAZ stand are getting their first glimpse of the company’s four concept cars: the Tagaz B100 small sedan, D100 large sedan, CH100 hatchback and Q100 station wagon. According to management, production of all four models will begin in 2012.
Other new vehicles on display are threeAutomobile Co. Ltd. sedans under the Tagaz Vortex brand. Assembly of the Tagaz Vortex Corda, the rebadged version of the Chery Qiyun 2, will start this October. The Elena (Chery Eastar) will be launched in early 2011 and the Yuna (Chery Qiyun 1) in mid-2011.
In contrast to previous Moscow auto shows,and Great Wall are the only two Chinese brands represented this year. Irito Group, the Russian Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd. importer, shows the locally assembled Great Wall Hover H3 SUV among other vehicles.
Irito used to assemble Great Wall vehicles from semi-knocked-down kits at a plant located in Gzhel, near Moscow. But the sizable import-tax hike introduced on complete car bodies in November 2008 made SKD assembly expensive for auto makers not eligible for incentives granted by the Russian government.
However, Irito found a way to restart production without investing in its own welding and paint shop. Initial CKD assembly of the Hover H3 bodies began this spring at the OOO Avtomobilnaya Kompaniya Derways plant in Cherkessk. Final assembly is performed at the IMS plant in Gzhel.
Derways also assembles cars for China’s Chongqing Lifan Industry (Group) Co. Ltd. and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.
Saipa Automotive Mfg. Group, one of two large Iranian auto makers, is an unusual participant at this year’s Moscow show. It is exhibiting three small cars, including the Tiba small sedan. Production started last December, but this likely marks the car’s first appearance at a large international auto show.