Russia begins production of high-end sedan promoted by Putin

An employee works on an assembly line of the Aurus manufacturing plant in Yelabuga

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Monday has begun production of the Aurus Senat luxury sedan car promoted by President Vladimir Putin.

Russia unveiled plans for the Aurus line of cars in 2013. Putin helped to promote its limousine model by driving it during his 2018 inauguration as president for a new six-year term.

Production of the sedan is unlikely to have a significant impact on Russia’s car industry in the near future. Industry Minister Denis Manturov said 200-300 cars would be produced this year, the Vedomosti newspaper reported.

The car, seen as a prestige project for the Kremlin, with its most basic available features will cost 18 million roubles ($245,000).

Russia has also been trying to reduce its dependence on imported goods and technology, a drive that gathered speed after Moscow was hit by Western sanctions in 2014.

($1 = 73.3652 roubles)

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by David Evans)