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You can’t get ’em here dept.

Just because you can’t get ’em here, doesn’t always necessarily mean you’d want to.

Lada Kalina

2009 Lada Kalina

Pictured is the Lada Kalina, a “low cost super mini” manufactured by avtoVAZ (better known worldwide simply as VAZ) in Russia, and sold there as well as in other European countries. Okay, so maybe it’s not a terrible car, but anyone who remembers the Lada 1200 which was sold in Canada back in the 1970s probably would advise you to stay away. Let’s just say the support network wasn’t strong. Luckily for Americans, at the time the cold war prevented any export of the Lada to the U.S. The 1200 was based on old Fiat 124 tooling, and the version sold in Russia originally came with a crank to start the engine should the battery die in the frigid Russian winters. That should be your first clue as to reliability.

Lada 1200

1970s Lada 1200

The new Lada Kalina is best described by the folks who run the website ladacars.org: “1118 Lada Kalina is five doors ‘sedan’, a new model of family cars Kalina issued Avtovaz. Modern elegant appearance, comfortable cabin, good government , necessary for a city car, which has a completely new Lada Kalina . Avtovaz begin producing sedans Lada Kalina family in November 2004. The car meets all modern requirements for security. ” There, now you know everything you need to know about the new Lada Kalina.

Perhaps they’ve hit the nail on the head as to what’s ailing the U.S. auto industry. I don’t believe any of our cars currently being produced have “good government,” which, as they point out, is “necessary for a city car.” Perhaps President Obama can get his car czar to look into it.

To check out the current line of Lada vehicles, click here. (Have your Russian/English dictionary handy!)