In August, new-car sales in Russia increased by another 51% when compared to the same month a year ago. The boost in sales is attributed to consumers continuing to take advantage of the government's incentive program for scrapping old cars.
It’s notable that August had a steep sales increase even if this month is a traditional holiday month in Russia.
Furthermore, thick smog from forest fires has blanketed much of central Russia, including the Moscow area, for more than a week, keeping residents in their homes.
The Moscow-based Association of European Businesses reported that the August gain to 168,627, raised sales for the year-to-date to 1,135,074 million units, a 14% increase over the same period in 2009.
In a statement, David Thomas, chairman of the AEB's auto manufacturers' committee, said that the continued upward trend for the industry is “very encouraging.”
Launched last March, the incentive program offers car buyers 50,000 rubles (about $1,635) to trade-in cars that are 10 years old or older for new models produced in Russia.
During the summer, the program was extended with a 10.5 billion-ruble cash injection, which is enough for the trading of about 210,000 cars. [via autonews - sub. required]