In ostentatious indifference and in defiance of sanctions, Porsche offers Putin to… revive the Russian automotive industry

In ostentatious indifference and in defiance of sanctions, Porsche offers Putin to… revive the Russian automotive industry

Porsche is based in Germany and owned by a German-Austrian family who believe business is business

In the midst of the war in Ukraine, while the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is in Germany on an official aid visit, Porsche board member turns his back on blatant defiance and defiance of sanctions which were imposed on Russia and challenging Euro-Western policy, Is offered take over and revive Russia’s war-ravaged automotive industry, with direct personal letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin!

Porsche is based in Germany and owned by a German-Austrian family who believe business is business

European countries are pooling their resources to send unprecedented deliveries of defense weapons to Ukraine, but Austrian businessman Siegfried’s Wolf to the board of directors of the European automotive industry PorscheSE, offered to rebuild the Russian automotive sector which was damaged by the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Entering a letter addressed directly to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Wolf asks for 800 million euros (60 billion rubles) to revitalize the Russian automotive industry with capacity producing 270,000 vehicles each year.
Wolf is one of the largest players in the European automotive industry and sits on the supervisory board of German auto parts supplier Schaeffler.
A multi-billion dollar holding company, Porsche SE is said to have its foot in the door ready for a partnership with Russia and is one of the few German-speaking businessmen with strong ties to business leaders and oligarchs in Russia, including President Vladimir Putin.
The three-page letter, obtained by German magazine Der Spiegel, comes a year after Russia invaded Ukraine and begins by addressing Putin by his full name, Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin:

“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovic…!”

The letter begins with a reference to the ongoing war, “difficult conditions” and the fact that Russia faces a shortage of high-quality cars.
He notes that his “new investment plan to revive the production of passenger vehicles” could “solve this problem”.
Wolf wants to work with the first Russian automotive group GAZ to implement the solution which he believes will revive the stalled industry.
It is proposing to use two factories whose production has been suspended since spring 2022, including a factory in Kaluga, southwest of Moscow, owned by German carmaker Volkswagen.
Calling itself a “world-renowned investor”, Wolf says it has an agreement “in principle” with Volkswagen’s flagship, the company controlled by Porsche SE.
Wolf held several senior positions in the empire of oligarch Oleg Deripaska and worked with the Russian billionaire, who is now on the United States and European Union sanctions list.
He was also a member of the supervisory board of the Russian group GAZ until the end of 2022.
He still owns 10% of the company’s shares. Despite the current geopolitics, Wolf still wants to develop his business in Russia.

Wolf’s plan to revive the Russian auto industry

According to Der Spiegel, Wolf already has a deal – Schaeffler’s Russian venture.
In December 2022, the multinational automotive group based in the Bavaria region of Germany chose the Russian company de Wolf PromAvtoKonsalt to buy the Russian company.
The acquisition will be finalized when the Russians also approve the deal.
The deal will benefit enormously as the Schaeffler plant can also be used to support production of GAZ’s Sadko vehicle ranges.
It’s a truck also used by the Russian army to transport troops and equipment.
The Russian auto industry is in recession and production has fallen to its worst level since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The war, followed by Western sanctions and the withdrawal of global players, hit the industry hard.
Russia’s faltering economy and falling car production mean spending on new cars is down 52% from a year ago.
The number of new cars sold fell by 58.8%, prompting Russians to turn to the used car market.

Revival of the “legendary Russian brand Volga”

The regeneration plan presented by Wolf foresees the rebirth of the “legendary Russian brand Volga”.
Volga production was stopped by GAZ Group in 2010.
The Austrian now wants to use the factory facilities and know-how of the VW group which, after the start of the war, suspended production at its own plant in Kaluga and withdrew from the production partnership with GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod.
The proposed schedule foresees the restart of car production at both plants by the second half of 2023.
In his letter to Putin, Wolf explained that the vehicles “must have a Russian design and be completely redesigned from abroad to bring out the characteristics of the legendary Volga and Pobeda models”, describes Spiegel.
When Putin, who has served as prime minister or president in Russia since 1999, threw down the gauntlet to the West by invading Ukraine, he had no idea the war would drag on for more than a year. , crippling the country’s economy.
In these difficult times, the Kremlin can use all the help to rebuild the economy.

Volkswagen quickly distanced itself from Wolf’s plan.

The company’s management also denied having knowledge of the letter and “its disturbing content”.
German magazine Der Spiegel also raised questions about Wolf’s business practices.
“How can a member of several supervisory boards in Europe and someone with special ties to German industry maintain such close ties with Putin?
And which side is he on in the conflict between Volkswagen and the Russian group GAZ? writes the magazine
It remains to be seen how effective Wolf’s plans are in reviving Russia’s half-dead auto industry.
Regardless, the letter puts the countries in a difficult position as they protect their defenses against a belligerent Russia.

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