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Russia's car market may shrink 60% in 2009 year-on-year
Russia's car market may shrink 60% in 2009 year-on-year due to declining demand caused by the economic slump, Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko said on Monday.

Speaking in Togliatti, the home of auto giant AvtoVAZ, at a meeting on measures to stabilize the situation in the Russian car industry, Khristenko said that the car market as a whole reflected the population's purchasing power.

Khristenko said that only state purchases would keep the auto market from suffering a further decline.

The minister also said however that the government expected the increasing amount of foreign models being produced in the country to lead to a rise in the share of total sales of Russia-made cars on the domestic market.

"We expect a substantial redistribution of the market in the first half and throughout the year in favor of cars produced in Russia. Many leading foreign concerns have made a decision to expand the range of models produced in Russia," Khristenko said.

The minister also noted that some foreign car makers were even considering projects to build new production facilities in Russia.


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