New car sales in Russia dropped 20 percent in September to 197,233 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, just after it suffered a 26-percent fall in August – no thanks to a weak economy beleaguered by western sanctions as well as consumers delaying making big purchases.
The Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group disclosed in a statement that new car sales in the first nine months in the country fell 13 percent to 1.78 million units. It said that full year sales in Russia would drop 12 percent in 2014 to 2.45 million units, with the newly launched government scrappage scheme seen to slow down the dip.
Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB automobile manufacturers committee, said in the statement that the government measures should mitigate the negative sales trend by the end of the year.
The Russian government announced in August that it would allocate RUB10 billion (EUR207 million) to finance subsidies new vehicle purchases this year – a revival of a program proven able to support the auto industry during the previous crisis. The current auto sales decline in Russia affected most major carmakers.
For instance, AvtoVAZ-Renault-Nissan posted an 11-percent drop in September while Volkswagen Group suffered to a 24-percent decline.
South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia saw their sales fall 10 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively. Japanese group Toyota just declined 1 percent. On the other hand, American carmakers General Motors and Ford Motor Co. experienced drops of 43 percent and 35 percent respectively.