The Russian government said that it will spend up to 271 billion rubles ($8US billion) over the next three years to subsidize the country’s struggling auto industry. A government web site said that the subsidies will underwrite research & development, jobs and costs related to more stringent emissions standards. Car sales in Russia in 2013 fell by 6% to 2.78 million units and 2014 looks like another weak year as the Russian economy stutters, according to the Association of European Businesses.
A 2012 effort to prop up Russian automakers, a recycling fee for imported cars supposedly to pay for scrapping the cars at the end of their life cycles, raised issues with the World Trade Organization so that fee was expanded to include locally manufactured cars as well. The new indirect subsidies are less likely to run afoul of the WTO.
A government incentive program for car consumers was also tried last year but the program ended in December.