New car sales fell in Russia fell by 33% year-on-year in January to 116,500 cars as the market was hit by economic downturn and a shortage of credit for car loans.
 
Business daily Vedomosti cited preliminary data from the Association of European Businesses (AEB), provided by a Russian car dealer.
 
Of the 10 most popular car brands in Russia, Honda had the best result, with sales falling 2% on the year to 3,660 units in January. Hyundai saw the sharpest decline in sales of the top 10, with sales plunging 48% on the year to 6,567 units in January.

The sales of AvtoVAZ's Lada cars fell 38% on the year to 29,110 cars in January. Chevrolet sales, including cars assembled by GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture, decreased 27% to 10,111 units, while Ford cars was down 18% to 7,952 units. Toyota cars dropped 31% to 7,327 units.
 
Sales of new cars in Russia are projected to fall 19% on the year to 2.4m units in 2009, Martin Jahn, vice chairman of the AEB's Automobile Manufacturers Committee and general manager of Volkswagen Group's Russian subsidiary, said in January.
 
Other analysts have said the market could fall by as much as 50% this year.