18 Nov 2009 15:34

Avtovaz, GAZ, Sollers seek restrictions on imports from GM Uzbekistan

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - Top officials at Russian car manufacturers have called for import restrictions on cars from GM Uzbekistan.

The heads of Avtovaz , GAZ and Sollers , Igor Komarov, Sergei Zanozin and Vadim Shvetsov respectively, endorsed the appeal which was addressed to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Uzbekistan adopted a number of stringent protectionist measures on behalf of GM Uzbekistan, the appeal says.

"Companies representing Russian car makers in Uzbekistan have completely lost the ability to convert currency, lending for the purchase of foreign made cars has been banned, and imported cars are subject to an additional wheel tax," the appeal says.

The appeal calls for the Russian government to retaliate with its own restrictions on imports from GM Uzbekistan. It calls for tying currency conversions associated with Uzbek car sales in Russia to the analogous conversions for Russian car sales in Uzbekistan. It also wants excise taxes and other fees enacted for cars imported from Uzbekistan.

"These measures will create fair conditions for conducting foreign economic activities," the appeal says.

GM Uzbekistan's Daewoo Nexia and Daewoo Matiz are among the 25 most popular models in Russia, according to data from the Association of European Businesses. Daewoo Nexia sales total 20,900 in January-September 2009 and Matiz sales totaled 18,000.