Thursday, November 11, 2010

2010 11 11 - Ya Moscovich: Machina

The Russian word for Car is MACHINA. There word for bus is AVTOBUS (pronounced AvTOboose). You would have thought that AUTO or at least AVTO would of caught on, but it did not.

John Hiatt's excellent "Slow Turning" album contains a fine song titled "Tennessee Plates". This is a song that Hiatt could not have written if he were a Russian - for one thing the author would need to be pretty familiar with Elvis and his obsessions with cars.

Secondly the lyricist would have to come up with the line "There wasn't one Japanese Model or Make" - This line would be of no sense to a native Russian - The Japanese and Korean car makers are blowing US automakers out of the water in Moscow.

Moscow Intersection (click to enlarge - I intend to put a better picture in here at some point, but right now this is what I got)

You may spot some Fords and Land Rover's but the GM products are pretty rare - unless you include Opel - remember them - I think they were part of GM at one time. Whatever Opels they couldn't have sold anywhere else they must have brought here. I have not seen a Chrysler/Dodge product but I have heard them mentioned by one of my teachers.

Toyota, Honda, Mitsubshi, Hyundai, Mazda, Suzuki, Nissan, Kia and Daewoo all represent the Asian market pretty strongly in Russia. Cars produced in Western Europe are also common - Audi, Volvo, Renault (specifically somethng called a Megane) and a significant number of Peugot's can be found. The luxury car makers Mercedes and Lexus as well as BMW also fare well in Russia.

If you live in Russia and your not interested in an Import than you will likely be buying a Lada. Aparently Lada was responsible for making the 80s era Fiat. Most of the Lada's I see throughout Moscow appear to be compact, plain and practical. They look sort of like a miniature volvo with a boxy front end.

A second car that may be specific to the former soviet bloc countries is the Skola which is made in the former Czech Republic. The are perhaps as many in numbers as the Chevy's.


Happy Birthday to Debbie!!

1 comment:

Jo said...

It is pronounced "avTOboose". The o after the t is stressed here.