Base effect propels Russia’s car sales in September, with Chinese models dominating
New passenger and light commercial vehicle (LVCs) sales in Russia in September 2023 jumped by 120% year on year to 116,234 vehicles, according to AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee data. In 9M23, total sales were up by 43% y/y to 0.76mn.
After Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, the domestic production of cars almost completely ceased in the summer months as the sector ground to a screeching halt. Car sales in Russia collapsed by 58.8% y/y in 2022 to 687,370 units (chart) and are only expected to recover to pre-war levels in 2027.
“Over 9 months of this year , we have observed a steady growth trend in the new car sales market, which indicates its high potential and gradual recovery despite rising prices and serious volatility in the ruble exchange rate,” AEB head Alexey Kalitsev commented.
The AEB did not provide a month-on-month comparison. Compared to previous reports, car sales in September posted a 4.5% m/m increase, indicating that rapid y/y growth is still due to the base effect fuelled by the market crash in 2022.
The Lada model of the national car maker AvtoVaz still topped the market with 32% y/y market share in 9M23, with sales lagging behind the market at 96% y/y growth.
Lada Granta of AvtoVaz last year remained the only domestically assembled model on the Russian car market and the only budget offering, while also being the beneficiary of the preferential car loan programme.
AvtoVaz was effectively nationalised after its largest shareholder French carmaker Renault handed over its stake in the company to the state for one ruble as foreign car majors pulled out of Russia amid the military invasion of Ukraine.
LCVs by Russian GAZ closed the top 5 with 5% shares, but all the rest of the top five most sold models in Russia were Chinese, with Chery, GMW (Haval) and Geely having 19%, 10%, and 8% market shares, respectively. Notably, the Chinese models posted 260% - 300% gains in y/y sales in 9M23.
AEB usually based its data on the numbers released by car manufacturers and official importers, but these figures have become unreliable amid the sanctions for Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine as it did not account for several major Chinese brands and the fragmented unofficial “parallel exports”.
In September and August press releases the AEB provided the data by PPC JSC on sales of new vehicles based on data on their transfer to owners, which resulted in 9M23 market growth rate revision from 26% y/y to 43% y/y.
Russian service providers recorded a modest expansion in business activity during November, according to the latest PMI survey from S&P Global, but the rate of growth slowed somewhat from October.
Largest number of jobs created in construction, IT&C and hospitality sectors.
Czechia remains the only EU country not to have recovered its pre-pandemic level of output.
Independent group ENAG calculates 129% y/y.
Hungary’s economy grew 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, after four consecutive months of contraction.
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