GAZ Group's parent is calling for urgent action to be taken concerning Russian interest rates in order to target finance more directly.

Russian Machines chairman, Siegfried Wolf, made the comments as its GAZ Group automotive division started production of General Motors' Chevrolet Aveo at its Nizhny Novgorod plant last week.

"We have to get competitive rates, Russian banks need to get money into areas where we need it," Wolf told a group of international media including just-auto, at the Nizhny Novgorod plant.

"9%, 10%, 11%, interest rates, we can not be competitive. On an international basis, it is 4% and I am going to compete with this? This is my biggest issue.

"We have positive signals, but I hope it goes a bit faster. We have to be competitive and competitive means we have to have competitive interest rates. I am very nervous about high interest rates here in Russia."

Despite his concerns, Wolf lauded the prospects of the Russian market for GAZ, which as well as working with GM, also produces vehicles for Volkswagen and Skoda. The former co-CEO of Magna International also highlighted the involvement of tycoon, Oleg Deripaska in the business.

[By] "2020, Russia should be one of the biggest consumer markets on a global basis," he said. "Per capita, Russia has double income than the Chinese, US$20,000 compared to US$11,000, India is about US$6,000. 

"Russia was not used to entrepreneurs - the young generation brings entrepreneurial spirit. Deripaska is a prototype entrepreneur. We invested about US$500m in GAZ Group alone to get modern technology."

Russian Machines comprises the industrial and engineering assets of Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element business group and includes 26 enterprises in 14 regions across the Federation.