Russia’s New Auto Sales Up 2.7 Times

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The re-positioning of auto manufacturers in the Russian market appears to have been largely completed as sales of new vehicles jumped nearly three times higher than the same period last year. The exit from the Russian auto market by Western brands has taken time to accomplish given the large investments, retooling and retraining of assembly and manufacturing plants to new models, however the result has been spectacular for Chinese brands and disastrous for Western ones.

Russian auto analytics agency Avtostat revealed that new passenger car sales jumped 2.7 times in April compared to the same period in 2022, while more than 75,000 new vehicles were sold this April, 8% more than in March.

Avtostat said that 44% of the cars sold were Chinese brands, while another 35% were Russian made. The combined share of South Korean, Japanese, European, and American automobiles fell to just over 20%.

The top-selling brand in the country was Russia’s Lada (33.4%), with the most popular model the Lada Granta (24.3%). Among foreign automakers, Chery was the best-selling Chinese brand, and the Geely Coolray crossover was the top selling model.

The exit of Western and Japanese companies from the Russian auto market has provided an opportunity to rising industry players such as China and Iran.

Chinese automakers have embarked on a major expansion in the Russian market and are expected to reach a 60% share of total sales this year, according to car dealer chain Autodom. China also exported over 160,000 cars to Russia last year, more than doubling its share of the country’s auto market.

Iranian auto makers are also expected to launch sales in Russia this year in a market that was valued at US$10 billion in sales in 2021 and is now rebounding.

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