The Moscow International Auto Salon opened to the public August 27, with 62 national and international premieres on display.

Over 1.5 million car enthusiasts are expected at the event, which hasn't taken place since 2008 because of the effect of the economic meltdown on Russian car buyers.

The Russian new car market halved in 2009, according to figures published by automotive analyst JATO Dynamics earlier this year.

Despite the fall in sales, manufacturers at the show are positive, unveiling new products engineered for the Russian market in the hope that recent signs of recovery will continue.

French brand Renault unveiled the Latitude, which will hit the Russian market first this month before being rolled out to a further 50 countries.

The "business class" sedan has been designed specifically for the Russian market and features a triple zone climate control system, massage seats and a 3D Sound audio system as standard.

German automaker Volkswagen also premiered its new Polo sedan, also designed specifically for Russia.

With suspension adapted for bad roads, a "cold climatic zone" package and a low maintenance engine, Volkswagen says that the 399,000 RU [about €10,200] Polo will introduce "new quality standards in the affordable small car class."

Hyundai debuted a new concept car, the Concept RB, believed to be a hint at the Russian production model of the Hyundai Verna which will hit the roads next year.

Ford, meanwhile, revealed a facelift of its popular Mondeo and local producer AvtoVAZ introduced a seven-seater MPV, the R90 Lada, set to go on sale in March 2012.

The show is open to the public through September 5.

http://eng.mas-expo.ru/mas/

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