Ready To Burn Rubber In Russia

Foreign carmakers are racing into the burgeoning market

Volodya Dmitriev strokes the sleek blue hood of a Skoda Felicia in the showroom of Moscow's Alan car dealership. "It's a great car," he says. "Still..." He looks over at a row of Russian-made Ladas. They start at about half the $10,500 sticker price on the Skoda, built by a Volkswagen unit in the Czech Republic. Dmitriev goes home without deciding, but VW is working hard to lure him back. This summer, it will start assembling Skodas in Russia and neighboring Belarus, sidestepping import tariffs that account for 30% of the sticker price.

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