For generations, the city of Togliatti, located southeast of Moscow, has lived to the rhythm of the Russian car factory AvtoVAZ, which is 68% owned by Renault. But with the war in Ukraine, international sanctions and the announced departure of the French manufacturer exacerbating component shortages, workers are concerned about their future.
For more than 50 years, the city of Togliatti and its 720,000 inhabitants have lived to the rhythm of Avtovaz and its famous Ladas. In the factory, the cars are assembled from father to son. But about ten years ago, the French giant Renault became the main shareholder. With the war in Ukraine and the international sanctions that have been taken against Russia, the components and spare parts no longer arrive and the factory is idle.
“I feel under pressure. From one day to the next, I never know in advance when I have to work. I don’t know what awaits me tomorrow, if they are going to fire me or not”, confesses Léonid Emchanov, automotive installer-assembler at Avtovaz-Renault.
For veterans, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the privatizations, the sanctions and the announced departure of Renault represent a new blow.
“I am very unhappy that Renault is sinking Avtovaz to optimize production. They sold everything, kept the money without leaving us any of our Soviet heritage,” laments Anna Perova, a retiree from Avtovaz-Renault.
Like Leonid Emchanov, in Togliatti, Avtovaz’s 35,000 employees are waiting for their fate to be fixed.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.