Road Test

Igor Zarembo / ITAR-TASS

Made in Russia: Chery automobiles stack up at a factory in Kaliningrad

Yelabuga, an economically depressed city of 70,000 in Russia's republic of Tatarstan, is an unlikely staging area for the march of globalization. The city's biggest claim to fame: it's where noted Soviet-era poet Marina Tsvetayeva spent her final days before committing suicide.

But things are looking up. Yelabuga may be getting some economic help from an unlikely quarter. On the outskirts of the city lies the Alabuga special economic zone (SEZ) where, among a smattering of grime-encrusted buildings and two unfinished helipads, Great Wall Motor, one of China's up-and-coming automakers, plans to build a...

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