Russia Hankers for Luxury Cars

Growing wealth lures premium carmakers to the former Soviet hub
Opel's Astra being shown at this year's Moscow Auto Show Photograph by Lysteva Marina/Itar-tass/Corbis

Banker Igor Skibar remembers his first car, a Soviet-era Lada, as a “nightmare.” Twenty years later he’s moved on to a Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicle, and this summer he bought a Land Rover Discovery 4 for about 2 million rubles ($62,400). “I need a respectable car to visit clients and travel outside the city,” says Skibar, 41, who lives in the St. Petersburg area. “I earn enough money to do it with ultimate comfort on bad Russian roads.”

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