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RUSSIA: Carmakers want Uzbek imports restricted

By just-auto.com editorial team | 19 November 2009

Russian carmakers AvtoVAZ, GAZ, and Sollers want the government to limit imports of cars produced by GM Uzbekistan, the joint venture between General Motors and Uzbek automaker Uzavtoprom, according to local media reports.

They have written to  Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin complaining that that Uzbekistan has introduced tough measures aimed at protecting the GG JV. Specifically, Uzbekistan ceased currency conversion for firms representing Russian carmakers in the country, introduced a ban on providing consumer loans for foreign-branded cars, and started charging an additional tax on imported vehicles, RBC Daily said.

The Russian carmakers hope the government will introduce similar measures effecting Uzbek cars in response. However, a spokesman for Putin told the daily that the Prime Minister had not yet received the letter.

Sources told RBC Daily that the application was initiated by AvtoVAZ which sold 8,920 cars in Uzbekistan in 2008, accounting for 1.2% of its total sales, according to business daily Vedomosti.

GM Uzbekistan and GM's representative office for Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declined to comment. GM-Uzbekistan produces six car models, including the Daewoo Matiz and Daewoo Nexia, which are among the top 15 in terms of sales in Russia, according to Vedomosti.