Russian Officials Getting Really Into Locally-Sourced (And Chinese) Automobiles


You know things are going well for you, in the international community, when there are exactly two countries that will sell you a car — one of which is you — and you still need to mandate that your highest-ranking government officials shop local.

The Moskvich, a revived Soviet-era car, is emblematic of China’s growing sway over Russia’s car industry. Sources have told Reuters the Moskvich 3 model is a JAC Sehol X4 assembled in Moscow using kits purchased from a Chinese partner.

The Russian cars listed were five Lada models, produced by Russia’s largest carmaker Avtovaz, as well as the UAZ, Aurus and Moskvich brands, and Evolute electric cars.

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On Friday, the Industry and Trade Ministry said the car list was made up of those recommended for priority use by state and municipal employees for official purposes, following an instruction from President Vladimir Putin.

Driving around Washington D.C., you don’t often see Russian cars on official license plates. Russia, having lost nearly all of its trading partners, has decided the reverse should be true as well — Russian officials should drive Russian vehicles. Yet, there’s one interesting carve-out from that edict: China.