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Foreign Automakers Welcome to Work on New Limousine

VedomostiPresident Vladimir Putin could eventually be transported in a locally designed and manufactured limousine.

Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov does not rule out the possibility that foreign carmakers would help domestic firms produce luxury cars for the country's top government officials, Interfax reported Friday.

“We are only considering foreign producers [that will] work jointly with Russian firms. We want to use our own potential and capabilities at our disposal. But we do not rule out the possibility that foreign automakers that have their own production facilities in Russia will participate too,” Manturov said.

In addition to the presidential limousine, “a whole line of executive-class automobiles with their own market niche and segment on the consumer market” is to be developed, Manturov said in January in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The project, known under the name Cortege, is being carried out with a view toward serial production to ensure that it will be cost-effective, he added.

“That's why we asked ZiL specialists, experts from the NAMI auto institute and Marusya Motors to work out variations for the creation of luxury cars, which will involve government spending, while for private investors it would be more profitable to invest their own funds,” Manturov said.

In October, ZiL unveiled a Russian-made presidential limousine. The maker of limousines for Soviet leaders produced at most 25 cars a year during its heyday.

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