Putin calls for revival of Russian auto industry

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The sector has not collapsed as the West had expected, according to the president

The exodus of Western car brands has provided Russian manufacturers with an opportunity to take back the domestic market, President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday during a marathon Q&A session.

Putin highlighted that the Russian car industry didn’t collapse and keeps operating despite the exit of Korean, Japanese, and European brands and the sanctions policies pursued by the West.

“Manufacturing of our own components” is a “top priority” for the sector, the Russian leader said, adding that the Ministry of Industry and Trade, along with domestic manufacturers, are addressing the issue.

“Those who thought that everything would collapse here I think they are disappointed, nothing collapsed,” Putin said.

The president acknowledged that the Russian market lacks cars priced below one million rubles ($11,000), but stressed that the industry continues to ramp up production rates in an effort to expand the supply of vehicles.

READ MORE: Russian GDP growth to hit 3.5% – Putin

Putin also admitted that prices for Russian cars have surged 40%. He expressed hope that Russia’s leading carmaker, AvtoVaz, will reduce prices for its vehicles after production levels are increased. 

Chinese cars have become increasingly popular in the country, Putin noted, adding that Chinese automakers are actively displacing European brands from global markets.

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