Russian government wants domestic automakers to set up luxury brand image

Russian carmakers are considering the federal government’s desire for a domestic luxury brand to challenge the dominance of Western premium brands.

However, the proposal was not received enthusiastically by Russian carmakers, as setting up a brand to compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi is very difficult. Industry and trade minister Denis Manturov said he wants automakers to build luxury cars that target a broader market. Currently, Russian brands such as ZiL build armored sedans for top government officials.

Manturov has asked ZiL, Marussia Motors and GAZ Group to develop manufacturing proposals for a luxury car brand, with the state promising support for the project. “I hope that by the end of the first half we will have a vision of which scenario we want to take,” Manturov told the government’s official newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

ZiL said the company is currently focused on building an armored limousine for President Vladimir Putin. However, the carmaker could rethink the approach if there is a market demand. A GAZ spokeswoman declined comment on the project until the government chose the type of model it wants made. As for Marussia, a company spokesman said only that the carmaker is working on the proposal.

Source: Automotive News Europe