Consumers in Russia purchased more new cars and light commercial vehicles in June 2012 than in the month prior, according to the Association for European Businesses (AEB). Carmakers were able to sell 272,125 new cars and light commercial vehicles in June 2012 for a 10 percent growth over May 2012. The figure represents the best monthly sales performance for the auto industry in Russia since July 2008. According to AEB, if carmakers are able to maintain the double-digit growth posted in May and June 2012, they could revive the Russian car market to near pre-crisis levels for the full year.
Russian sales peaked in 2008, reaching 2.9 million vehicles. However, the global financial crisis in 2009 lessened consumers’ appetite for vehicle products, cutting the 2008 figures in half. The AEB forecasts car sales in Russia to reach 2.85 million vehicles in 2012, reflecting a 7.5 percent growth over 2011, mainly due to more consolidation in the second half of the year, according to AEB's auto committee chairman Joerg Schreiber. Russia is expected to overtake Germany as Europe’s largest car market some time this decade.
AvtoVAZ’s Lada brand remains the top-seller in Russia in June, selling 45,032 units despite posting an 18 percent drop in volume. Chevrolet was the top-seller among foreign-owned brands with 20,746 units in May, posting a 15 percent increase. The General Motors’ unit is followed by Renault with 19,859 sales for 31 percent growth; Kia with 17,307 cars for 19 percent hike and Hyundai with 16,097 units for a one percent decline.