AvtoVAZ will be headed by former Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov

The shareholders of AvtoVAZ have decided on a new configuration of the car concern’s management. The current vice-governor of St. Petersburg and ex-Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Maxim Sokolov will become the president of AvtoVAZ instead of the Frenchman Nicolas More. The chairman of the company’s board of directors will be the Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. Two sources close to the company’s shareholders told Vedomosti about this.

Officially, the appointments are to be announced on Monday, May 23, another interlocutor of “Vedomosti” knows, familiar with the plans of “AvtoVAZ”.

The change of leadership is due to the departure of Renault from Russia (“Vedomosti” wrote about it on April 26). The French concern sells its stake in AvtoVAZ (67.69%) for 1 ruble. subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade FSUE NAMI with a repurchase option for six years. The block package (32%) remains with Rostech.

Vedomosti sent inquiries to Rostech, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and AvtoVAZ.

The current president of AvtoVAZ, Nicolas Moore, told Vedomosti that he regrets the current situation and plans to return to France as soon as the shareholders appoint a new head of the company. This should happen “soon enough”, added the top manager.

Sokolov is 53 years old, in 2004-2012. worked in the administration and then the government of St. Petersburg. He took part in attracting global players from the automotive industry to the region – Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, GM. On May 12, 2012, Sokolov was appointed Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation for a six-year term. After his graduation, Sokolov joined the leadership of the developer from St. Petersburg “LSR Group”. In 2019 he took the post of vice-governor of the city for transport infrastructure.

Manturov is now also 53, he has been head of the ministry since 2012. He has been working in the ministry since 2007, as deputy minister (then called the Ministry of Industry and Energy). Prior to that, Manturov headed the state-owned Oboronprom, and before that he held senior positions in the aviation industry. The Minister also now heads the Rostech Supervisory Board.

Moore first headed AvtoVAZ in April 2016, when shareholders decided to dismiss Swedish top manager Bo Andersson, who had been fired from GAZ. Two years later, Moore handed over the post to the then director of the Romanian Dacia (part of the Renault group) Ivo Karakatzanis, and in mid-2021 he again headed AvtoVAZ. Since 2018, Moore has also been Renault’s Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer for the Eurasia region.

According to a Vedomosti source close to AvtoVAZ, the French management team is stepping down. For example, on May 19, Yevgeny Shmelev was appointed executive vice president of engineering for the company, AvtoVAZ reported. Prior to that, this position was held by Selcuk Kura from the Renault group.

For half of 2021, AvtoVAZ struggled with the shortage of microelectronics, which arose in the global automotive industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the company was able to increase sales by only 2% to 350,714 cars, according to the European Business Association. After the start of the SVO in Ukraine and due to the complicated logistics of AvtoVAZ sales components, they fell by 64% in March (12,289 cars) and by 78% in April (8,506 units).

For most of April, the company was on corporate leave, during which time it was planned to create a stock of components for assembly. But after leaving the holiday in May, “AvtoVAZ” again began to introduce downtime. The current one is valid until May 27.

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