Moscow - A story from Automotive News (www.autonews.com) says Russia will invest about 180 000 million roubles ($6000 million) in its struggling car-making industry over the next decade, in a bid to revive the sector after its disastrous 2009.
A government source told Reuters that the sum will be about a tenth of the $60 000 million investment envisaged by the government for the sector, with foreign and domestic automakers contributing the bulk. The government sees domestic car sales matching pre-crisis levels by 2014 or 2015.
The comments came ahead of a 4 March government meeting to discuss the future of its money-losing auto industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of people, many in one-industry towns where there are few alternative employment opportunities.
"Despite the seemingly large amounts, these numbers should not impress you too much," the source said of the investment plans. "They are comparable with the research and development costs of any large international auto company."
Russia suffered particularly badly during the worldwide collapse of the auto industry, as the weakening rouble and lack of access to credit saw sales halve year-on-year in 2009 to 1.466 million units.
Renault SA is one foreign car maker with a position in Russia. It currently has a 25 percent shareholder in Lada maker AvtoVAZ, while Germany's Daimler AG is a shareholder in truck manufacturer KAMAZ.
Fiat SpA and privately owned Russian automaker Sollers last month launched Russia's biggest auto joint venture with backing from the state.
See a longer version of this at www.autonews.com