New car sales in Russia dropped for the ninth month in a row in November with a 4 percent dip to 231,982, according to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses. The drop is attributed to the situation wherein consumers have refrained from making big purchases due to Russia’s weak economy.
"No question, the total industry is still declining, albeit at a slower pace," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB, said in the statement. According to Schreiber, a flattening of year-on-year sales numbers had yet to happen. He said that they hope that the figures will show progress in December, giving 2013 a “decent close.” Last week, Schreiber forecast that Russian car sales may drop 6 percent for the year, but will likely stabilize in 2014.
The AEB will publish its official forecast for 2014 in January. Lada saw its sales drop 19 percent to 36,509 units, but it remained the best-selling brand in the market in November. Despite the fall, foreign carmakers continue their influx into the Russian market that is expected to overtake Germany to become the biggest in Europe.
French carmaker Renault and Japanese ally Nissan is seeking to take control of Lada's parent AvtoVAZ. The carmakers are also seeing increasing sales in Russia, with Renault surging 3 percent in November to 17,721 units, good for second place. Deliveries of Renault’s Duster compact SUV rose 12 percent in November, for the third place. At fourth and fifth are Kia and Hyundai, posting growth of 16 percent and 6 percent respectively to 17,399 and 15,539 units.