Wednesday, 11 April 2012


In terms of automotive pedigree, Russia is really only famous for the Lada name. Perhaps infamous is the more accurate word to use. Nevertheless, there’s never really been anything more mother Russia could offer, except maybe Formula One driver Vitally Petrov, and he only because he probably caused Fernando Alonso the 2012 F1 Drivers’ Championship. But this hasn’t stopped Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin from ordering his bureaucrats to start buying only Russian-made cars.

You might think the Prime Minister knows something the rest of us don’t, something like Russia is about to launch a new car brand suitable to even his high standards of transportation. Actually not. What he means is exactly what he said; Russian-built, not necessarily of Russian origin. That could be any number of cars these days, including the BMW 3 Series, which, in addition to Pretoria, is also built in Kaliningrad, Russia. Ford also has a Russian assembly plant, so do Peugeot and Hyundai.

Such a decree has not come to South Africa, as our politicians often buy whatever wheels they can afford, including BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volvo XC90s and others. Had they been forced to follow the Russian example, their choices would be limited to cars like the 3 Series, new Ford Ranger, Toyota Fortuner and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Such a move would help lift local manufacturers’ coffers, boost employment and increase the tax base. At the same time, judging from the number of politicians who drive cars that cost over R1 million, such cars would surely suffer a notable drop in sales!

1 comment:

владимир слуцкер said...

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