Russian auto industry hammered by downturn and deficient policy

As GM has shut down its only assembly plant in Russia, two Chevrolet and two Opel mass-market models are to be discontinued by the end of 2015 (photo: dpa)
As GM has shut down its only assembly plant in Russia, two Chevrolet and two Opel mass-market models are to be discontinued by the end of 2015 (photo: dpa)

As the Russian economy sustains the dual blows of sanctions and depressed oil prices, consumer spending is down as shoppers feel the pinch. But the heaviest damage is being sustained by manufacturing, especially the automotive industry. With foreign brands scaling down their operations in Russia, the car business is backsliding fast.

THE RUSSIAN economy is stuck in recession, with GDP for 2015 expected to shrink by about 3 per cent. For Russia, this is troubling, but it is still a far cry from the ominous prognosis of last December’s ruble crash, when some predicted a full-scale economic collapse. Markets presently believe that 2016 will see economic recovery rather than further deter...

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