Foreign carmakers can get Russian aid: Interfax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Foreign carmakers who have invested billions in local assembly plants in Russia will be eligible for state industry support measures, Interfax quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as saying on Friday.

“Foreign assembly companies working in Russia can also count on support from the state,” Putin said in remarks reported by the news agency. “Of course, that means they have to fully comply with production localization demands.”

Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Renault all assemble cars in Russia.

The Renault Logan, assembled at a plant outside Moscow, is the best-selling foreign sedan in Russia. Production at its plant outside Moscow is being halted for two weeks this month because of weakening demand.

Ford announced it would halt its St Petersburg assembly plant for a month.

Among proposed support measures, Interfax quoted Putin as saying the government could subsidize car loans on locally produced cars at the low end of the market, costing 350,000 rubles ($12,720) or less, and guarantee carmakers’ bonds.

He said government agencies should receive an additional 12.5 billion rubles to fill their fleets with domestically made cars and the government could set up a leasing company with a 40 billion ruble budget to buy locally made vehicles.

($1=27.51 Ruble)

Reporting by Melissa Akin; Editing by Hans Peters