About 20 years ago they tried to launch the Lada in Australia.
Russia's answer to the Ford Laser was launched onto the market for about $12,000. They sold a few of them. But then they stopped selling them. It seemed the hot Australian summers were melting parts of the Lada that were designed more for Siberia than Townsville.
But the Lada was always a brand destined for failure. It will never work in this country.
Or will it?
Sometimes when you launch a new product, it just dies in the arse. Then you launch the same product 5 years later and it bombs as well. Every 5 years, you relaunch it. Each time, there's something different. Maybe a new management team, new paint, some new features. But fundamentally it's still the offering underneath. And people see it as a dog no matter what.
Then one day, the product is launched again. And it goes mental! Everyone wants to get on board and own it.
That's football in Australia today. After years of Lada launches (and accompanying dodgy Lada quality), football is now the iPod of sport in Australia. And I am absolutely loving it!
How bloody good was it to see 50,000 football fans in Melbourne watch the Victory thump Adelaide yesterday?
Archie Thompson won the impressive new Lada Kalina with his Man of the Match performance
I'm a Sydney FC fan but really, it would have been an injustice to the league if Sydney had somehow bumbled their way into the Grant Final and tried to score by hoofing it over the midfield and into the slowest forward line in the comp.
The finals series had some fantastic football throughout. Really great football.
Years ago I got Foxtel and used to watch all the English Premier League games until the wee hours. Or tape them and watch them on sunday morning. Nowdays I have no interest in Arsenal vs Reading, or Tottenham vs Charlton Athletic. I would rather watch Newcastle vs Adelaide. Two years ago they would have locked me up for saying that.
I'm just going to reminisce for a second about the time that this brand was relaunched. When John Aloisi knocked in the deciding penalty against Uruguay last year, he started the rebirth of football in this country.
Unfortunately I missed the Australian World Cup frenzy in this country. Fortunately I was in Germany at all the first round Aussie games! Here's some photo's of this glorious new powerbrand sweeping the country.....
And perhaps there is hope for the Lada yet.
Sydney - John Aloisi gives birth to Football
Kaiserslauten. Australia v Japan.
Munich. Aust vs Brazil.
"I will sell my mother for a ticket"
Der Guten Guys. Proving that consumers the world over will buy white goods at cheap prices from dickheads.
Stuttgart. Aust vs Croatia. There's a party in my pants and everyone's invited.