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5 Jan, 2024 15:01

New car sales skyrocket in Russia

Chinese brands keep filling the void left by Western automakers
New car sales skyrocket in Russia

Sales of new motor vehicles in Russia amounted to more than 1.3 million units in 2023, a 60% surge compared to the previous year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported on Friday.

According to data released by the ministry, sales of passenger and commercial vehicles amounted to 1.056 million (+62%) and 104,958 units (+35%), respectively. The number of trucks and buses sold in Russia during the year totalled 140,204 (+74%) and 17,792 units (+19%), respectively.

For comparison, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) reported last year that sales of new passenger and light commercial automobiles in Russia had totalled 687,370 in 2022, a dramatic decline of 58.8% compared to 2021, when nearly 1.7 million vehicles were bought. The plunge was attributed to a shortage of vehicles at local dealerships after American, European, Japanese and South Korean automakers either left Russia, or suspended deliveries of cars and components, halting local production indefinitely due to Western sanctions arising from the Ukraine conflict.

Despite the positive data, Russian and Chinese automakers have not been able to fully meet demand at a quick pace, and many buyers have been deterred by the high prices of vehicles produced in China or locally.

Chinese automakers have embarked on a major expansion in Russia, in an attempt to fill the void left by departing Western firms.

The Russian-made Lada Granta remained the top-selling model in the country, with 191,074 cars sold in 2023. It was followed by the Chinese-made Haval Jolion, with 48,980 vehicles sold. The Lada Niva (46,859), Lada Vesta (41,296) and Chery Tiggo (40,992) closed off the top five.

While Russian automakers still account for the majority of the local market, Chinese brands have seen impressive sales growth.

According to data released by the Russian research agency Autostat in November, sales of Chery vehicles jumped to 105,601 units in January-November 2023, an increase of 236% from the same period of 2022. Haval sold 96,381 cars, up 224%. Sales Geely cars soared 260% to 79,936 units.

Among light commercial vehicles, the GAZelle NEXT produced by the Russian automotive giant GAZ was the best-seller, with 53,952 units sold in 2023, while its share of the local market reached 51%, according to the Trade Ministry. It was followed by UAZ, with 19,273 cars sold.

Russia’s KAMAZ remained the best-selling truck with 28,237 new vehicles sold in 2023. It was followed SITRAK (23,811), SНACMAN (19,983), and FAW (12,565) – all produced by Chinese automakers.

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