The Iron Curtain may be lowering on Russia again, at least when it comes to the country's auto industry. The government there is reportedly considering a ban on imported cars as a response if the West puts more sanctions in place. However, even if the restrictions materialize, domestically built vehicles from foreign automakers would likely still receive an exemption.

Russia and Western governments are fighting back and forth in a war of words over the country's alleged support of separatists in Ukraine. Sanctions from both sides are aimed at harming the other's economy enough to give in. After recently limiting some food imports, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted that further restrictions could be leveled at other industries, including automobiles.

According to Reuters, Vladimir Putin reportedly already considered limiting vehicle imports but eventually rejected the idea. The plan was left as a more drastic option, though. Unnamed Russian government sources recently told the Vedomosti newspaper that the strategy was still under consideration. However, the state hasn't actually begun preparing for any such implementation.

If the import sanctions do actually materialize, they would be a complete reversal of recent trends in the Russian auto industry. Analysts were already predicting decline of up to 30 percent in the country's new car market for 2014, and tariffs were also expected to fall, which would further boost imports. There were even rumors of some automakers cutting back on factory capacity; Ford responded to the weakened market by cutting about 950 jobs there in April.


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  • 30 Comments
      Alex Nuc-ular
      • 4 Months Ago

      Law applies to imported cars only - not cars built in Russia.  I think most major manufacturers have assembly lines in Russia, these cars are not affected.

      bullitt2605
      • 4 Months Ago

      Whew for a minute I thought they were going to start sending their cars here!

      Matt
      • 4 Months Ago

      While Putin is indeed a megalomaniac, the U.S. or any other NATO power would probably behave the same way that Russia is with the separatists in Ukraine. 

      Imagine a large group of people in say Cuba were fighting to secede from Cuba and become a U.S. territory (like Puerto Rico). You think we might be sending them weapons and supplies? Hell, we routinely give weapons to people that hate us (Al Qaeda, Saddam, Syrian rebels, etc), so obviously we'd give weapons to people that liked us.

      We are being giant hypocrites in condemning Russia's actions. 

        David
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Matt

        Believe everything you see, much?

        "Russian Separatists"="Russians"

        This is a take-over of a neighboring sovereign nation -- period.

        As for the sanctions, considering Russia is the aggressor, who could end the sanctions at any time, their counter-sanctions are extremely childish.  I say, do your worst with your "counter-sactions", Russia.  YOU will be the loser, not us.

          Lachmund
          • 4 Months Ago *Edited*
          @David

          Such a hypochrisy! How many timed did the U.S.A. invade foreign countries?! Apples and oranges?! Not really!

          Matt
          • 4 Months Ago
          @David
          There is a large segment of the Ukranian population that identify as Russian, culturally and ethnically. So yes,  "Russian Separatists"="Russians". These people want to rejoin the motherland, and the rest of Ukraine wants to westernize and join the EU. Ideally the two sides could agree on a solution that avoids bloodshed, and the only valid criticism of Russia is that they didn't do anything to facilitate peaceful negotiations. 

          David
          • 4 Months Ago
          @David

          Every country has groups that want to secede (e.g. Quebec out of Canada, the Basque, etc...), but these fringe elements are the minority, and in a democracy, their voice seldom amounts to much.  If these folks even exist, and hate living in Ukraine so much, they're free to immigrate to Russia, I'm sure.  However, I suspect the majority are actually Russian (Nationals), planted there to stir-up things, according to Putin's ambitions.

        LW
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Matt
        So you are saying 0bam4 b0mbing 'separatists' 1$l$ at the behest of the other 'separatists' Kurds when there is no gen0cide and no nationa1 str4tegic interest at stake, is not worse than what Russi@ is doing when their own native people are being b0mbed?
          Matt
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW

          I think your tinfoil hat needs adjusting, although the CIA brain scanners have already done their damage, it seems. 

          Matt
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW

          Is your keyboard broken? 

          LW
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW

          @Matt

          My kbd is not broken.  I am explicitly trying not to type certain werds, which the int3rw3b p0-p0, are always watching and building a pr0fi1e on you.

          LW
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW
          @Matt

          Tell that to |\|$4, who vacuums up 3verything 0ut there and cat4g0rizes everything into different tr34t 1evels
      bleexeo
      • 4 Months Ago

      The next Russian revolution will happen when Putin forces them to drive a Lada.

      throwback
      • 4 Months Ago

      Did Putin check with the wealthy oligarchs? They love their Range Rovers and German brands. They'll probably be exempt, cant expect them to drive Ladas.

        LW
        • 4 Months Ago
        @throwback

        you are thinking of Ye1tsin, who were at the knees of the 01igarch.  Its the other way around this time.

          LW
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW

          @Anonynous

          Nothing is wrong, tell that to the interw3b P0-P0 who wants everything we put out there

          Losferatu
          • 4 Months Ago
          @LW

          What's wrong with your keyboard?

      churchmotor
      • 4 Months Ago

      I love how Putin laughs at Obama's little speaches to his minions as if they actually have meaning.


      Netanyahu has basically told Obama to shove it to.

        libertedelacroix
        • 4 Months Ago
        @churchmotor

        "I love how Putin laughs at Obama's little speaches to his minions as if they actually have meaning."

        Yes, because Putin doing so does not reflect poorly on him as a world leader, but rather Obama....

        "Netanyahu has basically told Obama to shove it to"

        Bibi also cried the next week begging for US $$$$.  It's easy for him to tell Obama to shove it when Bibi is taking it from behind...

      Sanchez
      • 4 Months Ago

      Nationalize all manufacturing, that will solve your problems!

      Doctor
      • 4 Months Ago

      Does this also mean that late model S-Class MBs and 7 Series BMWs stolen in Berlin will stop cruising in and around Moscow?

      elanjacobs
      • 4 Months Ago

      The rest of the world: We're not going to sell you stuff

      Russia: Well we don't want to buy your stuff anyway. So nyaaahhhhh

      Cut
      • 4 Months Ago

      They're responding to sanctions on their people, by self-imposing more sanctions on their people.

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