Russia is approaching Chinese companies to join in its bid to revive the Soviet-era Moskvitch car, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday, citing two unnamed sources.
The report comes days after Moscow’s mayor announced plans to bring back the Moskvitch (Muscovite) by nationalizing a Renault majority-owned factory that the French automaker handed over in its exit from Russia.
Russian truck maker Kamaz is reportedly in talks with its Chinese partner, the state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC), and another unnamed Chinese carmaker to lead production, supplying parts and designs.
Meanwhile, the Moscow city government, Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry and Kamaz are also in talks with China’s FAW and BYD carmakers, according to the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia.
Kamaz rolled out its Compass truck model using JAC components earlier this year.
The company is now discussing using JAC’s design, engineering and production platform to assemble the Moskvitch, Reuters reported later Thursday, citing its own sources.
The revived Moskvitch could reportedly enter production by the end of 2022, although industry experts say the timeframe would be difficult to meet. There are also plans to design an electric-powered version of the classic model.
Officials hope to launch production of the Moskvitch at the Russian capital’s Avtovaz car plant.
Renault sold its majority stake in the factory to the Moscow city government in May, in the first major transfer of private assets into state hands after Russia threatened to nationalize Western businesses that had exited the country in protest of its war in Ukraine.