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Russian officials once again offered to switch to native car brands

April 10, 2013, 12:43 UTC+3

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited GAZ car manufacturer, chairing a session on measures to encourage Russia’s car industry

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Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited on Tuesday GAZ car manufacturer, chairing a session on measures to encourage Russia’s car industry. Starting from this year, the demand for new cars has been slack in Russia, and it is not ruled out that production will begin shrinking. With that in view, producers have offered that state officials switch to home-made cars.

Dmitry Medvedev said at the session that the authorities would support the car industry, as well as came out with an offer to transfer public and communal transport to gas engine fuel, the Komsomolskaya Pravda writes. He also demanded to restrict the use of old vehicles that are used for transporting cargo and passengers. The Director General of KAMAZ truck manufacturer, Sergei Kogogin, complained to the prime minister that a lot of Chinese trucks that don’t meet the Euro-4 environmental standard have appeared on the Russian market of late. Medvedev replied that a general inspection of foreign-made cars imported in Russia must be carried out.

GAZ Group owner Oleg Deripaska offered yesterday to design a vehicle for country leaders on the basis of existing domestic platforms, the Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. “If chief executives demonstrate a wish to ride in Russian-made vehicles, we are ready to get down to that project. The task is not to design a rattle just for show. We have a decision that has to be developed. This will be not just a vehicle for top officials, but a mass decision for the bureaucracy,” he said. It is early at the moment to speak about characteristics of the future vehicle, at first a design assignment must be received from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry intends to organize in August a tender among contenders for the design of a new vehicle for Russian officials, the newspaper note. At the moment, ZIL, Marussia Motors and GAZ have applied. According to Minister of Industry, Denis Manturov, most likely there will be more than one producer. Limousines, coupe cars, off-road vehicles and minivans will be designed as executive cars.

At the present moment, top state officials prefer to ride in Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars. A representative from GAZ Group told the Moskovsky Komsomolets that the company intends to design an executive car on the basis of a German “donor” platform. According to experts this is the most adequate proposal GAZ competitors offer to design the car from scratch.

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes data of the European Business Association, which says that in March 2013 the Russian car market shrunk by already four percent as compared with March 2012. This involves sales of home-made as well as imported new cars and light commercial vehicles. This decline testifies to crisis processes underway on the car market. Observers note that the decline was registered for the first time since March 2010. In January-March 2013 the car market remained at the same level as during the same period last year. The car market is balancing between stagnation and recession.


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