Putin to Discuss Auto Measures Friday

The government will discuss financial support for struggling domestic car producers Friday, Russian Technologies, a controlling shareholder in AvtoVAZ, said Thursday.

"There will be a meeting tomorrow chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Tomorrow the decision will be made," said Sergei Chemezov, who heads the state conglomerate.

AvtoVAZ, the country's largest carmaker, is already seeking a loan of up to $1 billion from state bank VEB.

Putin will discuss the industry's problems in the Tatarstan republic city of Naberezhniye Chelny, home to truck maker KamAZ.

"Not only AvtoVAZ, but also other carmakers face the same problems," said Chemezov, who also chairs KamAZ.

The government raised tariffs on used cars to support domestic production, a measure that led to large-scale protests in the Far East, where importing used Japanese cars is popular.

Sales of foreign-branded cars fell 15 percent in November, the first year-on-year decline in at least four years.