16 Apr 2024 10:53

Avtovaz asks to return passenger cars and LCVs to preferential leasing program

MOSCOW. April 16 (Interfax) - Avtovaz has requested that the authorities return passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) to the state preferential leasing program, with CEO Maxim Sokolov sending a written request to Russian Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov, a source familiar with the document told Interfax.

Avtovaz's sales plan for 2024 is 511,000 cars, Sokolov said in his request, and reaching it will be possible using mechanisms to stimulate demand. One of them is preferential car loans, which are only applicable to a limited number of categories of citizens.

The exclusion of passenger cars and LCVs from the state preferential leasing program, which occurred in February, may result in a 25,000-unit reduction in sales and production of Lada cars this year, Sokolov said. This would force Avtovaz to either reduce production line speed or proportionally reduce working days.

The taxi industry is in particular need of preferential leasing to renew its fleets. It needs approximately 40,000-50,000 cars per year at least, Sokolov said. Meanwhile, industry associations have drawn attention to the lack of available government programs to support vehicle purchases. Because of February's decision, domestic taxi companies will receive about 10,000 fewer Ladas this year, the Avtovaz CEO said. Given the shortage of budget funds, it is advisable to resume preferential leasing, if not only for domestic taxi companies, he said.

"Indeed, Avtovaz has approached the authorized bodies with an initiative to return preferential leasing for passenger cars, primarily for the taxi segment," a company spokesperson told Interfax. The deficit of cars versus plan could reach up to 25,000 units by the end of the year," with appropriate adjustments to the company's production plan," he said.

After receiving the letter, Manturov instructed the Industry and Trade Ministry and other involved departments to work out AvtoVAZ's proposals, a source familiar with the issue said.

The Industry and Trade Ministry told Interfax that the ministry "regularly monitors the situation on the market in order to make changes to the preferential car leasing program if necessary."

"Currently, the program includes all electric vehicles produced by Russian manufacturers, highly automated (unmanned) vehicles, Russian-made truck tractors and all categories of public transport," the Ministry's press service said.

The preferential leasing program "is focused on priority categories of wheeled vehicles as defined by the strategy for the development of the automotive industry through 2030," the ministry said in February.