During the test drive of the Moskvich 6, we spoke with the commercial director of the plant, Alexander Migal, who told several remarkable details regarding the current situation at the enterprise and plans for future models. First of all, we clarified that with the start of assembly line assembly, the principle of car manufacturing itself has not changed – vehicle kits are still delivered in 40-foot containers, each of which contains two sets, that is, as before, DKD assembly is underway, but only with more productivity than it was during post-assembly. Now the Moskvich 3 and 3e crossovers and the Moskvich 6 liftback are being produced on the same tape.
Meanwhile, our questions were aimed at new products for 2024, which were announced by the director of the enterprise, Hans-Peter Moser, at MIMS – Moskvich 5 and Moskvich 8. It turned out that the release of Moskvich 5 is already underway – we are talking about a fitting batch. Samples from this batch have already been submitted for certification. By the way, for some time now a certification department has been re-established at the plant: it has received a Vehicle Type Assessment Conclusion (ZOTTS) for Moskvich 6 and reissued certificates for Moskvich 3, which were originally issued by KAMAZ. By the way, if you believe the register of Special Investment Contracts, Moskvich is currently listed as an involved party in the SPIC of AVTOVAZ (as a successor to Renault) and KAMAZ. Moreover, in the latter case, of the entire announced line of Moskvich models, only Moskvich 3 and Moskvich 3e are listed in the public part of KAMAZ’s SPIC.
The assembly of Moskvich 5 from the first batch was carried out at the posts – the model will begin to be put on the conveyor closer to the time of launch, and several more months will pass before that. The fact is that there are no plans to apply for the model according to a simplified scheme, which will most likely cease to be valid from February 2024. They immediately decided to run the Moskvich 5 through a full cycle of certification tests with a crash test. Since obtaining OTTS usually takes several months and without it the car cannot be put on free sale, it follows that the plant will begin production of Moskvich 5 in the second quarter of 2024, and only if by that time an uninterrupted supply of vehicle kits has been established from China.
The source for Moskvich 5 was JAC Sehol X6, and for Moskvich 8 – JAC Sehol X8 Plus, and the story with it is much more interesting. Alexander Migal said that it would be preferable for him to start production not from a DKD-type screwdriver assembly, that is, from cars assembled in China and run-in on the factory track, and then disassembled and packaged in a container, but immediately with localization. Apparently, its first stage will be welding and painting the body, which will immediately provide significant savings on logistics.
By the way, welding and painting of the body according to Moskvich 3 and 3e is just around the corner. They will begin on the basis of stamping imported from China. To date, the search for a supplier of Russian stamping has not yet begun, although it would seem that the most obvious contender is nearby, in Moscow. We are talking about Alfa Automatic Technologies, which at one time successfully churned out auto body parts for the Moscow Renault plant and St. Petersburg Nissan, some time ago relocated from the territory of the former ZIL and is already churning out body parts for Haval Jolion. Meanwhile, the management of Moskvich cannot independently choose a supplier – as a state-owned enterprise, the plant is obliged to announce a tender, and as of today it has not been announced. And this is another obstacle to operational work.
Another point concerns welding equipment. At the beginning of the year, the factory workers claimed that they planned to use the pliers left over from the French, then information appeared that a robot brought from China had started working, which would complete the welding process on the main conductor. Alexander Migal told us that in practice an integrated approach will be used, because, on the one hand, it is unprofitable to make the entire line only from robots – it needs to weld at least one hundred thousand bodies a year, and the general production plan for the next year is 44 thousand , and on the other hand, the task is to create a multi-platform plant where it would be possible to produce models on several platforms. For this purpose, various production methods will be combined during welding.