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How Pavlovich sowed success

Andrey Pavlovich spent £250 launching a business selling sowing machines after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Now he has invested almost £6m in Moscow's flagship Mercedes-Benz dealership.

Like many Russian car dealers, Mr Pavlovich began as an unofficial importer. But he was so good that in 1996 he became an official dealer and is today the marque's leading dealer selling 300 new cars a year.

His Moscow dealership is headquarters to his company, Panavto. He has other dealerships in Russia as well as in the Ukraine and Belarus.

When he clinched the Mercedes-Benz dealership, he also signed a deal to become Yamaha's official importer. Motorcycles and Mercedes sit rather uneasily together to west European eyes in the vast showroom.

He has a German in charge of his team of 72 technicians – the workshop operates on two shifts a day, seven days a week.

Before the entrepreneur in him took over, Mr Pavlovich was chief engineer at a textile factory and despite his success keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

He plans to build another Mercedes-Benz dealership in Moscow and has just opened the first joint Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler Jeep dealership.

His expansion and optimism is shared by Gerhard Hilgert, president DaimlerChrysler Automotive Russia, who is predicting a 50% sales increase for Mercedes-Benz this year. The company currently has 28 dealers in Russia and sales this year will reach 3,200 passenger cars plus 530 trucks and light vans.

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