Russia’s car market ranked fifth best in Europe

Russia’s car market ranked fifth best in Europe
In April, Russia was the fifth largest market for vehicles in Europe, according to data from the Avtostat agency.

Apart from light commercial vehicles, 119,000 passenger cars were sold in Russia last month. A seven percent increase from a year earlier.

The biggest market is Germany which saw over 290,000 car purchases in April, showing an 8.4 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

France clinched second place with nearly 171,000 cars sold last month, which is six percent less than a year ago.

Italy came third, with vehicle purchases declining by 4.6 percent to 160, 000. The decline followed three years of continued growth, according to Italy’s National Association of the Automobile Industry (ANFIA). However, the agency expects the market to recover in the coming months.

In fourth spot, the UK saw a 19.8 percent decline with just 152,000 cars sold. The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) links the fall to the new excise tax on carrier vehicles that came into force on April 1.

READ MORE: Top Russian automaker considers delisting from Moscow Exchange - reports

Overall new car sales in Russia rose 6.9 percent to 129,476 last month as the market's rebound gathered momentum after four years of falling demand, according to data from the Association of European Businesses in Russia (AEB).

“We are not dealing with a healthy seasonality yet, which reminds us of how fragile the current cautious recovery still is. Nevertheless, April's sales result is another step forward in the right direction,” Joerg Schreiber, AEB chairman, said in a statement.

At the same time, sales of luxury vehicles in the first quarter grew 15 percent. Nearly 350 luxury automobiles were sold, 70 percent of which were in Moscow and the Moscow region. The lowest price for a luxury class car in Russia is five million rubles ($87,500).