The greatest Soviet car of all time, the Lada Niva, will be reborn, and it’s partly a result of Renault’s ambitious new business strategy involving the Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ and a road map established for the new Niva.
In an ironic turn of events, the news comes as Renault, which owns a controlling stake of AvtoVAZ’s parent company, announced its so-called Renaulition plan.
Just last year, we accused Renault of wanting drivers behind the wheel of the Dacia Duster rather than the Niva; Dacia is another of Renault’s brands. But now, Lada and Dacia are in a business partnership that will see the two carmakers come together. The announcement says:
AVTOVAZ will benefit from the strong synergies with the group. Both LADA and Dacia range of products will be based on a very cost competitive and flexible CMF-B platform. Together the brands will produce more than 1 million CMF-B based cars annually, going from 4 platforms to one, from 18 body types to 11. The global target is to unleash the potential of LADA and DACIA, making them Full-Fledged International brands, enabling them to go beyond their current perimeter in terms of markets and segments.
Don’t worry. The partnership does not mean that the attempt to merge the two big carmakers will dilute the essence of either. The announcement addresses this:
The idea behind the creation of the business unit is that Dacia and LADA will remain separate companies with their own brands, history and strategy, but they will benefit from more dedicated, focused and coordinated governance. Most importantly, they will be better integrated within the Groupe Renault system to leverage synergies.
Meaning that the two will remain separate entities and the Russian marque’s beloved Niva will maybe stay in a tried-and-true form for another half-century. My favorite touch of the 2024 Niva — what of it we can see in this brief teaser, anyway — is the L-shaped LED strip in its headlights and the less visible D-shape within.
That’s L-D, or lah-dah, and even if it was not intentional, it seems like a well-implemented bit of design that honors an icon. GM’s Hummer design team could learn a thing or two from the new Niva.