Automobile output in Russia, according to preliminary data, decreased 2.6% year on year to 1.351m units in 2005, Alexander Kovrigin, general director of Russia's Avtoselkhozmash Holding (ASM), told reporters on Friday.

ASM Holding monitors Russia's auto manufacturing sector.

Of the total, car output in Russia decreased 3.9% year on year to 1.067m in 2005, while truck output rose 2% to 206,300 units, and bus output increased 2.8% to 78,300 units, Kovrigin said, according to Prime-Tass.

Kovrigin also said that a ruling approved by the Russian government last year "only damages the development of Russia's automobile industry."

The ruling envisages eliminating or substantially reducing import duties on auto components for facilities that have so-called "industrial assembly" status and an annual output of at least 25,000 vehicles.