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Leveraging Local Innovations to Drive Global Competitiveness and Cost Advantage

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FEI Europe 2016 presentation by Harald Gruebel, Executive Vice President of R&D, AVTOVAZ

image from conference presentation

This story started 50 years ago with Russia needing a robust car for the masses, and the Lada 1200 was the result. The Fiat 124 was used as the base car design, and then it was totally reengineered with almost all components changed and improved for the harsher conditions in Russia. At the peak 300k cars were also being exported.

image from conference presentation

The Lada Niva was then designed that basically started the SUV segment. This 4x4 used Russian engineering, global production and was a localisation champion. It is the longest-running true 4x4 and is still in demand in the EU today.

Then something went wrong.

In the 90's and 00's the World, and customers were changing, but AVTOVAZ was not.

However, over the past three years, with some new strategic relationships, AVTOVAZ have built brand new cars, the 'XV. These are completely new products for the first time in 30 years, made possible firstly by the Russian Engineering School. Key characteristics of the school is they:

  1. Make it First - use much earlier prototyping
  2. Agile - stay flexible
  3. Mission: Impossible - thrive on breaking boundaries
image from conference presentation

Then combining the expertise from the Russian Engineering School, with Russian Hi-Tech & Science, and Russian Industrial Might, an alliance has been formed to create a joint market strategy to create scale.

With these new car designs in the Xcode concept AVTOVAZ is looking to create a new Russian success story - Lada is back!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Claire McGowan is CEO for SODA Inc. (SODAinc.com), a Founder-focused incubator and Wintec company based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Claire has trained as a life scientist, worked in venture capital and investment banking, and built and sold several businesses, including IPMarket.com. @clairemcgowan @Soda_inc @IPMarket

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