U.S. Manufacturers Key in Russian Boom
By KBB.com Editors on September 8, 2008 6:54 AMWhile American car companies have struggled recently to win buyers back from the import brands, they are benefiting from a similar situation in the burgeoning Russian auto market. Aided by oil wealth, the Russian auto market has grown by leaps and bounds recently and, as Ford of Russia President Nigel Brackenbury pointed out, the Russian consumer looks at Ford and General Motors products as international brands. As such, like imports in the U.S., they have more cachet with many buyers than the domestic Russian brands like Lada and AutoVAZ. Ford is the beneficiary of an early entry into Russia, and it has forged a market share that hovers over six percent in what has developed into one of the most diverse vehicle markets in the world. Though it seems as if every one of the world's automakers wants a piece of the Russian action, Ford has scored with a strong network of standalone dealers and local manufacturing in St. Petersburg.