Sales of new passenger cars and LCVs in Russia decreased by 51% in the first three quarters of 2009 and by 52% in September as the recession-induced market plunge shows little sign of easing.

Sales in the first nine months totalled 1,110,226 vehicles. September's tally 117,981 vehicles.

"September showed a very slight stabilisation compared to August but some of this is to be expected given the end of the vacation period. Clearly the automotive market continues to have a very difficult year and we are not seeing signs of this improving in the fourth quarter. It's vital to the industry that the government support measures continue but equally important that schemes are applied fairly across all brands and help the whole industry that employs people in distribution as well as manufacturing," said David Thomas, AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee's Chairman.

The AEB called for Russia's state support to be extended to all locally produced cars and remove the limitation on the price of the cars eligible for the program.

Market leader Lada (AvtoVAZ) sold 269,514 vehicles in the first nine months of the year for a market share of 24.3%, which compares with a share of 21.2% in the same period last year.