Russia is expected to see a considerable slowing of its car market in 2008, according to one senior executive.

Quoted in the Vedomosti newspaper, Martin Jahn, vice chairman of the Automobile Manufacturers Committee of the Association of European Businesses in Russia (AEB), and general director of VW's Russian subsidiary, Volkswagen Group Rus, has predicted that the country will see growth in new cars this year of 18%, to 2.75m.

This figure compared to growth of 38% in 2007. Jahn added that before the global economic crisis hit, the AEB was predicting 3m new car sales in Russia in 2008.

Russia has been one of the few auto markets that seemed relatively impregnable as global demand cooled this year in response to the credit crisis and higher oil prices. However, Jahn's predictions are in line with other recent reports from the country.

As reported on just-auto earlier this month, Toyota had expected to increase car sales in Russia by 15% in 2009, but has since cut that to 5%.

This risk was also recognised by Jean-Michel Jalinier, the head of Renault in Russia. He said recently that Renault dealerships are complaining of emptying showrooms over the last month, according to local reports.

Industry analysts believe that the root of the decline is the unwillingness of banks to grant car loans amid the global shortage of liquidity.