Putin's limousine goes to a Toyota factory

The Auris Senat is the Russian presidential car, Putin's limousine, with which he arrived at the inauguration of his position in 2018… and which this year will be manufactured in the former Toyota factory in Saint Petersburg, as confirmed last week Denis Manturov, acting deputy prime minister.

With a retro style inspired by a Soviet-era ZIL limousine, this enormous limousine was presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show with the aim of competing with Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Its basic version cost more than 200,000 euros and until now it is manufactured in the Russian Yelabuga Sollers plant, where Ford was previously assembled.

Manturov, quoted by the Russian state news agency TASS, claimed that production at the St. Petersburg plant should begin at the end of 2024. The Toyota factory was handed over to Aurus a long time ago.

Majority ownership of the Auris brand belongs to NAMI, a Russian automotive research institute, in alliance with Russian automaker Sollers, which was Ford's partner in Russia. In March 2023, Toyota transferred the factory to NAMI and it seems that it is a matter of months before it leaves the Russian region of Tatarstan, about 1,000 kilometers from Moscow, where it has been manufactured since 2021.

The reason is that Russia is looking for ways to use car factories that were left idle after the withdrawal of car manufacturers from the Russian market, triggered by Putin's decision to send troops to Ukraine in February 2022. Of course, no There will be many changes in the industry as it is a niche vehicle. According to the Russian analytical agency Autostat, forty Aurus brand cars have been sold in Russia so far this year. It is estimated that 70-80% of assembled models are sold outside the Russian market.

The figures, due to the situation in Russia, are very far from the announced expectations, which expected to assemble about 5,000 vehicles a year in 2024 and 2025. They planned to launch new models, one of them an SUV, about which nothing is known. He Aurus Senat S600 It measures 5.63 meters in length and the Senat L700 It goes at 6.63 and is armored. Both are powered by a 4.4-liter V8 engine, developed in collaboration with Porsche, with 598 HP of power.

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