Kalashnikov rebrands as it struggles to counter effect of sanctions

KalshnikovKalashnikov rebrands: Russia’s iconic weapons maker Kalashnikov yesterday launched a new brand and marketing strategy in an attempt to offset the combined challenges of inconsistent order levels from the Russian army, fiercer domestic competition and the effect of US sanctions. Some 80% of the company’s civilian weapon output is usually destined for the export market, and last year signed a distribution deal that would have seen the US take orders for 200,000 rifles. 80% of Kalashnikov’s civilian weapons are exported, and under a distribution deal signed last year 200,000 rifles were supposed to go to the U.S. — the world’s biggest market. Kalashnikov currently produces around 150,000 civilian weapons annually, showing the scale of its U.S. ambitions. Sanctions killed the company’s U.S. expansion plans, and an EU arms embargo installed in July then froze Kalashnikov out of the European market. At a major publicity launch yesterday, the company unveiled new logos across its three product lines — Kalashnikov for the Russian and foreign militaries; Baikal for civilian hunters; and Izhmash for sportsmen — and promised to target new markets, including South America, Asia-Pacific and Africa. The Moscow Times