Marketplace Scratch Pad

dzengee zha mashieneu

Scott Jagow Aug 13, 2009

I could be swearing in Russian for all I know. I used one of those online dictionaries. But I’m pretty sure I’m in the ballpark of “cash for clunkers” (cash for cars, anyway). You see, Russia has decided to start its own cash for clunkers program.

It’s not nearly the deal the US is giving out ($4500). The Russian government will pay 50,000 rubles, or about $1500, when people trade in cars that are more than 10 years old. Geez, I would think they’d rust through by then.

Anyway, people have to buy a Russian-made car with low carbon emissions. That means they could get a GM or Ford because they do make cars in Russia. But it’s not likely. From Marketwatch:

The government’s trade-in scheme “will lend no strong support to the industry as a whole, but could contribute to growth in car sales at Avtovaz, the maker of Russia’s cheapest cars,” said Konstantin Romanov, analyst at Finam Investment Company.

The measure will be ineffective for the industry in general, because it is advantageous only for owners of cars with a market price of below 50,000 rubles…

“According to our estimates, such cars are mostly owned by people who would be able to buy only the cheapest new car,” he said. “For this reason, the vehicle trade-in scheme should benefit Avtovaz the most.”

Avtovaz is known for its Lada brand, seen here in a very clunky pose:

For some reason, this car reminds me of the comedian Yakov Smirnoff. I remember one joke in particular:

I make fun of Cleveland because everyone makes fun of it. Isn’t that correct?

Every country has one city people make fun of.

In Russia, we used to make fun of… Cleveland.

I wonder if he’s changed to joke to Detroit by now. Enjoy:

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