Friday

Magna Tries Russia

Apparently rejected by DaimlerChrysler in its bid to acquire a chunk of ailing Chrysler, Magna is now woing AvtoVAZ, Russia's largest carmaker. The Russian company and Canadian auto parts maker Magna International agreed today to jointly develop and build a new budget car.

Reports are that the joint project will require about $2 billion and the new budget car is planned to sell at less than $12,000 but no news yet on where it'll be sold. Seems like the parts maker is bound and determined to get into the building business sooner rather than later. If they can't buy their way into Chrysler here, well, they plan on buying their way into the Russians over there. While some people aren't so sure about playing Russian roulette, apparently if you put enough money in front of the Russians, they forget how to say nyet, in favor of that famous line from Cabaret, "money, money, money, it makes the world go round."

The Russian car builder is already in a joint venture with General Motors and also said it hoped to partner up with French carmakers Renault and Peugeot-Citroen in the near future. I guess the moral is that the Russians will partner up with anyone as long as there's money in it. Looks like the Russians have jumped into the private enterprise party with both feet!

Earlier this month, Magna locked odwn a $1.54 billion investment from a company controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who also happens to be an apparent pal of President Putin. Like we said before, billionaires and presidents tend to hang out together apparently.

Maybe the Russians really are coming? Hopefully not here . . .