just-auto.com -- Research by Ryan Tutak carried on the just-auto.com website draws attention to the Russian car industry's very positive medium and long-term growth potential. But means of production must improve significantly, along with consumer demand to buy the output, especially the hundreds of thousands of new vehicles that foreign manufacturers are keen to build there every year. Russia has the biggest population in Europe (149 million people); nearly double the size of Germany. But Russia ranked only sixth in new car sales in Europe in 1999, selling below 25% the volume of Germany.

Big car projects involve Fiat SpA, Ford Motor Co, General Motors Corp's Adam Opel AG, Renault SA and Volkswagen AG's Skoda auto as. But major series production has yet to get going and the Russian auto industry faces serious structural problems and challenges ahead.

just-auto.com's Managing Editor, David Leggett, commented: "At the moment, the Russian car industry is at a crossroads. Unlike in other Eastern European states, in Russia, no outside producer has said it intends to take equity in a domestic partner. By not actually buying local producers in Russia, foreign players effectively prolong the existence of a huge market of cheap poor-quality vehicles. These models often linger because their producers lack the resources to roll out anything better."

Read the research findings and forecasts for the Russian car industry at: www.just-auto.com/features_detail.asp?art=253&sct=fotw .

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