As Russia recovers from the economic downturn, automaker GAZ anticipates that 2010 sales will exceed its earlier target of 25% volume growth, according to top executive Bo Andersson.
In a Reuters interview, Andersson said that GAZ is likely to surpass its forecast last month for a 25% sales growth for the entire year to reach 84 billion rubles ($2.7 billion).
On the sidelines of an auto industry conference, Andersson told reporters that it appears that the company “should be well over the target in units."
However, Andersson declined to specify what its forecast meant in ruble terms. Before sales plunged in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, Russia had been on track to overtaking Germany as the leading car market in Europe.
For the first seven months of 2010, Russian car sales are up 9% on 2009 to 963,688 units but still 45% below 2008 levels. The Russian government anticipates a 15% rise for the full year with sales of about 1.7 million vehicles.
Andersson said that the market would quickly return to the pre-crisis levels of 3 million cars. He claims that if the sales trend continues, Russia will get ahead of Germany, England, Italy and France within two or three years. [via autonews - sub. required]