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Russia’s automotive sector recovering despite apocalyptic forecasts of 1990s

January 14, 2014, 21:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s automotive sector is recovering despite apocalyptic forecasts of the 1990s, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

“You may remember what prophesies were voiced about the future of the automotive industry back in the 1990s,” he said at a meeting with Sergei Kogogin, the director general of Russia’s biggest truck manufacturer KAMAZ and the chairman of the Council of the Russian Association of Car Manufacturers. “Now it is absolutely obvious that these apocalyptic forecasts have not come true. Indeed, our automotive industry has managed to overcome the crisis and is now recovering.”

When asked to comment on the current situation in the sector, Kogogin noted that the government’s support had helped the industry to live through the crisis. “In the past six-eight years, the government has been conducting a very clear and well-balanced policy in respect of our industry,” he said. “It gave results even in the crisis year 2013.”

Annual car production in the former Soviet Union was 1.600 million. In 2013, Russia, with its population half of that of the Soviet Union, turned out 2.5 million cars, he noted.

Furthermore, in his words, whereas several years ago more than a half of cars sold in Russia had been imported from other countries, currently some 70 percent of cars sold in Russia are produced domestically. Every fifth rouble of direct foreign investments goes to the automotive sector, which accounts for a third of entire jobs in the country.

“Measures of state support have made it possible to receive money they was used to modernize both production facilities and products,” Kogogin added.

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