People walk in central Moscow

Russia relaunched production of the Soviet-era Moskvich car on Wednesday after a two-decade hiatus with plans to produce an electric version by the end of the year.

Also known as the Moscovite, which translates to the "native of Moscow," the car was once the pride of the Russian capital when it was produced between 1946 and 2001. The car's popularity faded after the fall of the Soviet Union. The manufacturer declared bankruptcy after a financial crisis and mismanagement.

Truckmaker Kamaz says its production plans are modest. It plans to produce 600 cars, 200 of them electric, by the end of the year at a former Renault factory renamed the Moscow Automobile Plant Moskvic.

The updated Moskvich will be of Chinese design and will be almost identical to China's Sehol X4 compact. Kamaz plans to make 50,000 cars next year and 100,000 in 2024. One-fifth of the cars will be electric. In comparison, Tesla manufacturers 22,000 cars a week at its Shanghai plant and aims to produce 2 million a year.

Moskvich's relaunch comes at time when Russia is attempting to establish a self-sufficient economy. Western sanctions imposed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine are severely hampering the country's economy.

As a result of the sanctions, French car manufacturer Renault sold its Moscow plant and majority stake in Avtovaz to the Russian government in May. Renault reportedly sold each entity for one ruble apiece, with the option to buy them back within 6 years. Renault CEO Luca de Meo said that the decision to sell the plant was "difficult but necessary" and it was the "responsible choice towards [the] 45,000 employees in Russia."