GM Uzbekistan car sales down by 49% y/y in Russia in Jan-Oct

By bne IntelliNews November 11, 2015

The sales of vehicles produced by GM Uzbekistan in the Russian market plunged by 49% y/y to 17,119 units in January-October, according to figures by Russia’s Association of European Businesses (AEB) that tracks car sales in Russia. Exports decreased by 11% y/y to 1,621 cars in October.

GM Uzbekistan is one of the main Uzbek exporters to the Russian market and a barometer of the ongoing trade flows between the two countries. Its exports are falling because of a general decline of car sales in Russia, which decreased by 38.5% y/y to 129,958 vehicles in October and by 33.6% y/y to 1,322,681 in January-October, but also because of Russia's introduction of a recycling duty on imported cars following its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2012. This levy has driven up the price of Uzbek cars on the Russian market, making them less competitive. GM Uzbekistan's car sales in Russia peaked at 92,778 in 2011.

The decrease in exports sales, combined with the falling purchasing power of Uzbeks due to the rapidly decreasing remittances, has forced GM Uzbekistan to cut the output of some models in order to maintain demand for its cars on the domestic market.

The share of GM Uzbekistan in the Russian market stood unchanged at 1.2% in October, slightly above 0.9% in October 2014.

Formed in 1996 as UzDaewoo Auto and renamed GM Uzbekistan in 2008, the company is owned by Uzavtosanoat (75%) and General Motors (25%). Currently, the company produces 10 car models.

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