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31 Aug 2012

Car Scoop (Full Story)


The 16th Moscow International Auto Salon (2012 MIAS) is in full swing with the show set to open its doors to the public for the first time on Friday, August 31, and remain open until September 9.

The event is expected to draw more than 1 million visitors who will have the opportunity to get up, close and personal with many new models and concepts including 23 world, 21 European and 85 Russian premieres.

One of the main reasons why automakers from around the world are showing a vivid interest in the Moscow auto show is the improving economy of a nation with a population of 140 million people, a large number of which are driving old cars.

"The situation is very different from Europe and the United States, because you have a lot of people that have very old cars - or no car – [who] are entering the market for new cars," Renault's regional head Bruno Ancelin explained to Reuters. "It is a tank of potential customers that is still full and we have years and years in front of us to address this kind of customer."

European automakers are especially keen to increase their presence in the Russian market to offset losses in Europe.

According to an Autonews Europe report, car sales in Russia grew by 40 percent last year to 2.6 million vehicles, recouping most of the losses from the crisis of 2009 when the market halved. This year, sales are expected to reach 2.85 million vehicles, an increase of 9.5 percent over 2011.

Analysts believe that Russia will surpass Germany in auto sales and take its place as the largest market in Europe before the end of the decade.

Back to the 2012 edition of the MIAS, some of the more noteworthy premieres include, the all-new 2014 Mazda6 sedan, the facelifted Audi R8, the new Opel Astra Sedan, the Nissan Almera, the refreshed Land Rover Freelander 2 (LR2 in North America) and the Lada X Ray Concept Study.

You can catch a glimpse of the cars as well as the booth professionals of the Moscow Auto Salon in the respective galleries right after the jump.

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