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Bernd Pischetsrider, the chairman of Volkswagen, announced yesterday that construction in the Moscow region could start in the next 18 months
Bernd Pischetsrider, the chairman of the German concern, announced yesterday that construction in the Moscow region could start in the next 18 months. However, Volkswagen has not yet decided which model will roll off the conveyor belts. According to Mr. Pischetsrider, there is no point in releasing a model for under 5,000 euros in Russia. So, the company is planning to produce more expensive cars, such as the Volkswagen Touran people carrier on the basis of the Golf V. Gazeta writes that it sells for a basic price of around $20,000. Russian officials had in the past mentioned that the company wanted to make its cheaper Bora model in the country, while experts are surprised by the choice in favor of a more expensive car. Valery Tarakanov, the director of marketing at Rolf-Holding, believes it is a very "strange" choice. "Local production could be successful if tens of thousands of cars come out every year," he explains. "The Touran is expensive - they will hardly be able to sell it for less that $21,000 and it does not enjoy mass popularity: people carriers traditionally sell poorly in Russia, and this market segment is not yet developed." However, Mr. Tarakanov suggests that Volkswagen could well release the Touran to accompany a cheaper C Class model. Maxim Matveyev from Alfa-Bank says that the sooner Volkswagen comes to Russia, the better it will do, as its competitors also plan to open their plants here.
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