President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Diess, colleagues,
I am very pleased to see you in Moscow. I think, we met before, during the general meeting with German business representatives.
Volkswagen has been operating in Russia for a long time now, and its vehicles are very popular in Russia with 12 percent of sales, a fairly good number. Almost 2 billion in investment is a great contribution, and we are grateful to you for this effort.
If I remember correctly, last year you made 200,000 vehicles in Russia, with about 20,000 of them exported. These are very good numbers. I believe Russia ranks fifth in terms of sales after Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
I am very pleased to see you. We will be happy to continue our work and look for ways to support your operations in Russia.
CEO of Volkswagen Group Herbert Diess (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President, for the opportunity to see you today.
Much of what you mentioned is true. Indeed, we have a successful operation in Russia and believe in the future of the Russian market. That is why I am here to discuss two questions with you and, possibly, ask for your advice or assistance.
The first question concerns our next phase of investment in Russia. In the near future, we plan to sign a special investment contract, and I would like to make several comments on this issue and ask for your advice.
The second question concerns our plant in Nizhny Novgorod. This is a good operation, and we need your assistance there, as well.
Vladimir Putin: We have signed, I believe, seven contracts in auto manufacturing. Since Volkswagen seeks to expand domestic content, we will, of course, sign such a contract with you as well.