At one point will Lada just be a Russian Renault? Who knows…. but there is now a chance that AvtoVAZ’s most infamous brand could be on the up-and-up. Renault just took hold of a 25% stake in the Russian group.

Why the interest from the French? Russia will be Europe’s most lucrative market come next decade. Combine Renault with tag team partner Nissan and the new member of the family, and you’ve got 40% of the market share tied up. Nation-wide sales growth + 40% marketshare at present makes for plenty of money in the future.

Renault pumped out some other major news today in F1 circles, too. Oh, by the way, the brand of car I first drove? That’d be Lada. I was 3 years old, unable to reach the pedals. Steering was a bit lifeless and not terribly accurate, as I recall.