Speaking about the issues of the Russian car industry is useless, because everything is clear: the quality, service, and what is more important, the price on the Russian cars, keep going up and will reach the level of some used foreign models. The problems of the domestic car industry are a big concern to both the producers and the esteemed State Duma deputies.
The State Duma held a session on Friday to discuss the future of the Russian car industry. Representatives of all the Russian automobile holdings were present at the session: Vladimir Kadannikov from AvtoVAZ, Dmitry Sterzhnyov from Ruspromavto, Nizhni Novgorod governor Gennady Khodyrev, as well as representatives for UAZ, KamAZ, and others.
The discussion was rather emotional. The point of all the speeches was basically about one and the same thing: if there is no help rendered to the Russian car industry, then it is going to die as a result of the competition with the foreign companies (taking into account the fact that Russia is going to joint the WTO).
The deputies of the state Duma, as well as the governmental officials, were also rather pessimistic on the subject. Deputy Minister for industry, science, and technology Sergey Mitin said that the import volume of used foreign cars in Russia has doubled during the year 2001 vs. 2000 and reached the level of 350 thousand vehicles. This index is going to grow next year if they will not raise the duties. All of the people present at the session agreed that they need to save the Russian automobile industry. It was decided assign the funds from the budget for funding a federal program for the development of the industry - $1.6 billion annually. Then, the deputies promised to attract the foreign investors who wish to invest in Russian cars but are prevented from doing so with different bureaucratic problems. The directors of the Russian car holdings promised in their turn to improve the quality of their production, output, and range of produced cars; they just need time to do so.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/22/35065.html