Russia is on track to become the largest car market in Europe

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 22, 2011

Spurred by additions to the government’s fund for trade-in incentives, Russia’s new-car market finished 2010 on track to achieve pre-crisis sales levels over the next two years.

According to the Association of European Businesses (which compiles Russian sales data), sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles are expected to rise another 17 percent in 2011 to about 2.24 million units after gaining 30 percent to 1.91 million units in 2010. The Moscow-based AEB said sales will likely jump another 23 percent in 2012 to about 2.9 million units.

That level would come close to 2008 sales, before demand was halved in 2009, and help Russia compete with Germany for the title of European car-sales leader. The AEB said Russia was on track to challenge Germany's automotive sales lead before the global economic crisis hit in 2009.

David Thomas, chairman of the AEB's autos committee and head of Volvo Cars Russia, said that a 2.9 million market is possible in 2011. He added that in 2012 “we will get back to the 2.8 million to 2.9 million level.”

Under a government program launched in March 2010, owners can receive RUB50,000 ($1,673) to swap cars that are at least 10 years old for new models built in Russia.

The fund was enriched in the summer and autumn of 2010 to a total of RUB34 billion (about $1.15 billion), indicating sufficient support to result to more than 690,000 sales. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: russia, sales, europe

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