Russia's AvtoVAZ Receives 20bn Rubles, Putin Confirms

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin confirmed today that AvtoVAZ will receive more than 20 billion rubles (about $587.4 million) in state funds to get through the economic crisis and pay its debts to part suppliers. Moreover, the Russian manufacturer has to find an additional 90 billion rubles by itself, Autonews added citing Vladimir Putin.

AvtoVAZ earlier this month insisted that the company will need government money to cope with the recession following the massive drop in demand. Moreover, things are about to get even worse, Russia's Industry Ministry warned, saying that the country's automotive sector may fell by another 60 percent in 2009, much more than the initial forecasts.

"The fall in the market could be more than 60 percent this year," Ministry Khristenko said according to Autonews.

Overall, the Russian automotive sector fell 38 percent in February, following a 33 percent drop in January. The Association of European Businesses (AEB) said the decrease for the two months of the year reached 36 percent to 140,384 units compared to the same month of the last year.

"Because of the increased customs tariffs, high loan interest rates and the ruble devaluation, we can expect a further price increase and decline of the automotive market in Russia in the coming months," Martin Jahn, vice chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said.

Nevertheless, companies selling cars in Russia are far from being worried and the best example comes straight from the local manufacturer Lada. The company remained Russia's top-selling brand in the first months of 2009, with no less than 58,454 sold vehicles. Chevrolet arrived second with 20,881 followed by Ford with 18,449 units.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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