Russia: Huge Market, Giant Affordability Gap
MOSCOW'S AUTO SHOW. The mix of cars on the roads of Moscow is typical of the extremes that characterize the city: a plethora of S-Classes, A8s and 7-Series rub shoulders with distressed Volgas and Ladas, the motorized embodiment of the gray, featureless functionalism that characterized so much of Soviet architecture and design. One face of Moscow is the new capital of conspicuous consumption, with every kind of western luxury available at a price; the other is pensioners on the streets begging for a few rubles because their pensions have not been paid for months. While a $50,000 Audi TT was being sold on the shows first day, two men in the provinces were beaten to death with an iron bar for stealing 12 potatoes.
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