In July, Kia's new-car sales in Russia rose by 105% to 10,502 vehicles, making it the top seller among non-Russian automakers for the first time in 2010, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB). This narrows the gap between itself and Russia's top-selling foreign brand, Chevrolet, which sold 8,986 vehicles in July, up 15% from the figure a year earlier.
For the first seven months of 2010, Chevrolet led Kia by 5,765 sales (61,996 to 56,231). Meanwhile, in June, Chevrolet had a 7,281 lead over Kia.
In 2009, Chevrolet was Russia's top-selling foreign brand while Kia was ranked fifth. Kia quickly climbed the rankings because of the demand for the Rio subcompact, Cee'd compact and the Sportage medium SUV.
The AEB said that through July, Rio sales went up by almost 600% to 16,150 while the volume for the Sportage has almost doubled to 11,617 from 6,014 after seven months in 2009.
AEB data show that overall, Russian new-car sales in July rose by 48% year-on-year.
This is attributed to the recovery in the economy and the extension of a scrapping scheme. Last month, 173,171 cars were sold in Russia, a little bit lower than the 174,838 in June but significantly above the 117,264 sold in July 2009.
Since a state sponsored scrapping scheme took effect in March, new-car sales have been climbing in Russia.
Through July, its overall new-car sales have increased by 9% to 963,688 cars and light commercial vehicles. In 2009, sales had been cut in half as a result of the economic crisis and a lack of access to credit. [via autonews - sub. required]