MOSCOW (Reuters) - The chief executive of Russia’s largest carmaker Avtovaz (AVAZ.MM), Igor Komarov, is stepping down, the auto company said on Wednesday.
Several sources close to Avtovaz said that Komarov was leaving to join a division of the country’s space agency (Roskosmos), confirming an earlier story in Kommersant newspaper. Komarov declined comment.
Oleg Lobanov, the company’s vice-president for finance, will be acting CEO until the board of directors appoints a new head. A source close to one of Avtovaz’s shareholders said the new CEO would likely be a representative of the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Avtovaz reported earlier in October that it swung to a first-half net loss as the country’s economic slowdown took a heavy toll on demand.
Russian car sales have fallen for six months in a row as the $2 trillion economy has faltered. The Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group recently cut its sales forecast for the full year to 2.8 million vehicles, a fall of 5 percent year on year.
Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov, writing by; Megan Davies; editing by Alexei Anischuk and Mike Collett-White