January light vehicle sales data for Russia issued by the AEB shows that the market declined by 6% last month. Sales declined to 152,662 vehicles in January.

However, the AEB said that the decline was expected ahead of a pull-forward to sales in December ahead of a subsidy removal.

"January sales turned out weaker than many had hoped for - not a complete surprise however following a strong December which saw a pull-ahead of credit-backed sales due to the run-out of the government subsidy," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB's Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a statement.

He added that January is a small volume month. "The February result will provide a better clue to where the market is headed this year. Current pace of contracting is quite encouraging all around, so we maintain our short-term expectation for the market to stabilise," he said.

The AEB said that 2.78m light vehicles were sold in Russia in 2013, 5.5% down on 2012. It also forecast that the market for 2014 would total 2.73m, 2% down on last year.