The Moscow International Automobile Salon (MIAS) - one the world’s top ten auto shows - has opened its doors to public on Friday showing that sanctions against Russia are of no real concern for participants and visitors.
The Russian car market is in a bit of a slump at the moment, but still every manufacturer wants to tap into it.
Russia is set to overtake Germany to become the biggest car market in Europe within 5 years. European and Chinese car manufacturers have rolled out some of their latest models at the salon.
However, imposing sanctions against Russia could hit German carmakers by as much as 25 percent.
“We remain absolutely dedicated to our strategy of growth in Russia; we believe that definitely growth is still going to continue over the next few months and years to come. Over 2 million vehicles are being sold in Russia right now which is still one of the top automotive markets in the world,” Pierre Boutin, head of Volkswagen Russia told RT.
Despite rumors that sanctions will be imposed on the car industry specifically, they would not significantly impact foreign manufacturers as about 80 percent of them produce their vehicles in Russia. However the import of components will be affected if this was the case.
One sector of the Russian automobile market which is still growing is luxury brands. “They want the very best whatever they buy,” Richard Leopold, the head of Bentley Russia told RT.
The number of new cars on display at the 2014 Moscow automobile salon is set to be a record, with nine world premieres, nine European premieres, 43 Russian premieres, and 16 futuristic-looking concept cars. More than a million visitors are expected to attend the show.