Before arriving in Moscow, I was unsure of what the culture there was going to be like. Questions kept flowing through my head like what kind of food they ate, how they dressed, how they behaved, and how much Vodka could they truly drink? After arriving these questions still roamed in my head but one thing that really caught me by surprise was the significant amount of beautiful cars I saw in the streets. My eyes were dashing everywhere being overwhelmed by the large amount of Mercedes and Audis that seemed to dominate the streets and roadways. In America it seems as if these cars are more of a delicacy and much less dominant on the streets. There must be some reason as to why there are so many more of these luxury cars cruising the streets of Moscow compared to the streets in America?
These two images depict a pair of luxurious Mercedes and Audi that are just casually parked along the side of the street. This is a very common thing to come across while roaming the streets. Some of these nice cars were even parked on the sidewalks!
This image is of a group of cars parked outside the Kremlin. In this parking lot there are a lot of Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Lexus.
- This is a much more higher end car but these form of cars also seem to be more popular here in Moscow compared to in the United States. There are a significant amount of Ferrari's and Mazerati's that we have noticed around the city during the night.
The Red Star on the front of the Lexus is kind of ironic. This star represents communism and the distribution of wealth to the poor. Yet this car is a symbol of wealth that is also depicting the symbol of communism!
In this interview, Anton is a student at Moscow State University. The questions that I asked him was why there seemed to be so many high end cars driving around in Moscow? He believed this was because there is such a large amount of rich businessmen in Moscow. I then asked him what his favorite American car is and he said it was the Ford Mustang!
One article discussed the booming market of luxury cars in Russia. In this article, Wolfgang Schlimme, BMW's general director for Russian operations said; "There are no problems at all in marketing these top-of-the-market cars, as Russians not only love to own the most expensive cars, but also order lots of additional individualized options to go with them. This is what differentiates Russians from other Europeans, who usually save and buy the simplest version of a top-of-the-line model."
Another article discusses why Russians tend to buy these luxury cars even though some of them may not be as successful as orders. In this article, Ilya Berezinn head of the auto division of the Mercury Group said; "Even since the early '90s, when people first got some money, the first thing they bought was a luxury car. You could live in an old Khrushchev-type apartment and own one jacket and one suit. But the nice car- at the time it was Mercedes Benz-was a must if you wanted to be recognized as a successful businessman."
Luxury cars are a trend throughout Moscow. They are everywhere throughout the streets and cant go unnoticed. These cars are an example of success and fortune throughout the world. In both America and in Russia, these cars represent wealth and success as businessmen. Yet there are more luxurious cars dominating the streets of Russia and I believe this is because the people in Russia like to spend their money on luxurious cars instead of saving it like Americans. Illya Berezinn even said that someone could live in an old apartment and barely own any clothing, yet they will save their money just to own a Mercedes Benz. Many Americans would prefer to save their money for other forms of luxuries than really nice cars and this may be one of the reasons why there are so many more luxury cars throughout Moscow! Either way, these cars are beautiful and they add to the already immense amount of beauty and culture that Moscow has to offer.