After two decades of hiatus, Russia on Wednesday launched production of the Moskvich car brand at a plant near Moscow on loan from French carmaker Renault, with a new, modern Chinese design that bears little resemblance to the Soviet-era classic. Whereas the last Moskvich (“Muscovite”) was a basic three-seater model, the Moskvich 3 is a muscular-looking petrol “crossover”, with alloy wheels, LED headlights and a large central touchscreen. A Soviet-era Moskvich brand car during a ceremony marking the launch of production at the Moskvich Automobile Plant, in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina Indeed, photos of the car show that it is identical to the Sehol X4 from the Chinese company JAC, also known as JAC JS4. The sources told Reuters that JAC’s design, engineering and platform were being used to produce the brand, with parts supplied from China. People sit inside cars on the assembly line of the Moskvich Automobile Factory, in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina Renault RENA.PA sold its majority stake in automaker Avtovaz in May to the Russian state for, apparently, a single ruble, but with a six-year buy-back option. He also sold his plant, now renamed the Moscow Moskvich Automobile Plant, for another ruble. An interior view of a Moskvich brand car, at the Moskvich Automobile Plant in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina With only 600 vehicles planned for production this year, it is unlikely that the new auto upset the bleak outlook for the broader industry, whose annual sales could end the year below 1 million for the first time in modern Russian history. The logo of the car brand during a ceremony marking the launch of Moskvich vehicle production in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina The government’s ultimate goal of producing 100,000 Moskvich a year, some of which will be electric, is well below the industry average for a car plant, which is between 200,000 and 300,000. Tesla makes 22,000 units a week at its Shanghai plant. Moskvich brand cars at the automobile factory in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina ‘The first Moskvich cars will roll off the production line in December 2022,’ Kamaz KMAZ truck maker said. MM, technological partner of the plant, in a statement. FILE PHOTO: A car during a meeting of Soviet-era Moskvich car owners and enthusiasts in Moscow, Russia, May 21, 2022. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov Western sanctions over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine have made it much harder access to foreign-made components, while many foreign automakers have left. Kamaz and the government set up new supply chains, but did not disclose the details. Employees gather near Moskvich cars during a ceremony marking the launch of production at the automobile plant in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina Connect with ! Subscribe to our channel Youtube and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram.