Vehicle sales in Russia in January 2014 dropped 6 percent to 152,662, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB). The association expects vehicle sales in Russia to fall 2 percent in 2014, as the country’s economy remains weak. The weak January result followed a 4-percent surge in Russian vehicles sales in December.
Prior to December, deliveries in the country had fallen for nine consecutive months. For the full year 2013, the Russian auto market dropped 6 percent to 2.78 million units. It ended three years of double-digit growth in Russia and delayed the nation's move to overtake Germany as the No. 1 market in Europe. "January sales turned out weaker than many had hoped for," said Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB said in a statement.
"January is small volume though, and therefore not a serious indicator for anything." The AEB said that the rate of contraction was encouraging. The group reiterated its short-term forecast for the Russian market to stabilize. Western carmakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen Group, Renault and Fiat Group have made heavy investments in Russia, bullish that the country's rising middle class will pave way for sales long-term.