Blog: AvtoVAZ concession to heat-seeking cats
Dave Leggett | 12 November 2014
Russia is a tough environment for car companies. Right now, weak demand and possible future overcapacity for some of the big joint venture OEMs is a concern. And the depreciation of the rouble and associated uncertainties is a sizeable worry, also. Well, here's something to lighten the mood a little.
AvtoVAZ is working on a design modification on the Kalina that will help Russia's cats. Russia's cats, you see, have to contend with some pretty cold weather. They are understandably drawn to the warmth of the heated vehicle engine irradiating from a newly parked up vehicle. However, the consequences can be somewhat unfortunate for the determined creatures who find their way into the engine bay of the Lada Kalina. Helpfully, it would appear that AvtoVAZ engineers are working on a fix. Cats of Russia, rejoice!
Actually, this is a good example of the kind of local market vagaries that anyone selling cars in Russia needs to be aware of. It's not just in the interests of cat welfare (laudable enough, of course), but could be relevant to sales prospects.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Nissan appears to be close to a decision on whether or not to select its UK (Sunderland) plant to manufacture the next generation Qashqai model or look to make it at an alternative facility in Europe....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...