Monday, January 4, 2010

Russia Launches Its Own "Cash for Clunkers"

In another effort to boost their domestic auto industry, Russia's Trade Ministry has announced their own version of the "Cash for Clunkers" rebate program for 2010. Under the terms of the program, Russians can get a certificate worth 50,000 rubles (or $1,650) towards the purchase of a new, more fuel efficient, Russian-built car.

Some Russians though think that domestic cars like Ladas are clunkers the moment they roll off the assembly line. One critic I read in an article a little while ago asked if Russian cars were so good why then do government officials drive German luxury sedans rather than home-built models? In recent years imported foreign-built used cars have been more popular with Russia's emerging middle class than new domestic autos. This prompted the government's last effort to boost domestic production - the slapping of a 50% tariff on imported used cars at the end of 2007, a move that sparked public protests in the port city of Vladivostok, which had a thriving cottage industry in importing used cars from Japan.

Russia's "Cash for Clunkers" is planned to run throughout 2010.
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