Friday 24 June 2011
1986 saw the unveiling of a radically new (by Soviet standards) model, known as the Aleko-141. It was powered by the VAZ-2106 1.6L in-line four-cylinder engine, which had by then amassed an acceptable track record powering a number of LADA models. Aleko was a front-wheel drive hatchback different from any model the factory had made previously. It was larger and more luxurious, made with comfort, safety and aerodynamics in mind. The body was built on the basis of Simca 1307, while longitudinal engine placement and torsion-crank rear suspension and McPherson strut front suspension was inspired by Audi 80/100 family, while taking into account the larger size of the Moskvitch and Lada engines . The 1.8 liter gasoline engine for the new car was planned, but never materialized, as was also the case with a diesel version. The car was a major improvement over previous generations, but the fall of the centralised economy, below-par quality and inadequate management ultimately brought the factory to bankruptcy.
The factory, which had been renamed to OAO Moskvitch (Moskvitch Joint Stock Company) in the early 1990s, filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and ceased production. The factory remains idle and abandoned, everything left as it was in 2002. Unfinished bodyshells remain on the production line in various stages of completion, while furniture, computers, office supplies, and documents remain in the plant's administration building. Several attempts to restart production have been made over the next 3 years, but none were successful.
Recently, a portion of the abandoned plant was acquired by OAO Avtoframos, a 38%-62% joint venture between the City of Moscow and French automaker Renault SA. In 2005, Avtoframos commenced assembly of Renault Logan sedans from imported complete knock-down kits (CKDs). The presence of Avtoframos brought new life to a small part of the facility, but the majority of the sprawling plant remains abandoned, apparently still owned by the dormant Moskvitch company.
The bankruptcy of OAO Moskvitch was officially announced in 2006 and the company was liquidated the following year.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1500 cc
- horsepower: 72 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 140 km/h