Austrian Entrepreneur Seeks to Revive Russia’s Car Industry, Backed by Putin.

Austrian Entrepreneur Seeks to Revive Russia's Car Industry, Backed by Putin
Porsche SE board member Siegfried Wolf wants to rebuild war-sanctioned Russia's automobile sector using German know-how from companies including Volkswagen. He even pitched his plan in a letter directly to Putin – and asked for an 800-million-euro credit line. By Rafael Buschmann, Simon Hage, Nicola Naber und Sara Wess

Russian President Vladimir Putin has found an unlikely ally in his bid to revive the country’s struggling car industry: an Austrian entrepreneur named Michael Tojner.

Putin has long made it a priority to support Russia’s car industry, which has been struggling due to a lack of investment and a reliance on outdated technology.

Tojner’s company, the Vienna-based Industrie Holding, has partnered with Russian automaker Avtovaz to modernize its production facilities and boost its competitiveness.

Tojner’s plan is to transform Avtovaz into a modern, efficient car manufacturer that can compete with the likes of Toyota and Volkswagen.

The company is currently producing around 350,000 cars per year, but Tojner wants to increase that number to 1 million by 2026. To achieve this goal, he plans to invest around €1 billion in the company over the next few years.

Tojner’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Putin, who has publicly praised the entrepreneur and his company. In a recent meeting with Tojner, Putin said that he appreciated his “courage and determination” and expressed hope that their partnership would continue to flourish.

While Tojner’s plans have been met with skepticism by some, he remains undeterred. He believes that Avtovaz has the potential to become a major player in the global car industry, and he is determined to make it happen.

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