Sales of new passenger cars and LCVs in Russia decreased by 10% in March, according to data released by the AEB.

March’s 10% year-on-year decline compares with 13.4% in February and 29% in January and is seen as evidence of an improving trend.

In the first quarter some 319,092 light vehicles were sold in Russia, 16.9% below last year’s level.

Russia’s vehicle market has been decimated by the impact of economic recession caused by depressed energy prices.

Last year saw sales dive 36% to 1.6m units, with the scale of the decline clear against a 2014 comparison of 2.49m, while some of the gloomiest forecasts are even predicting a 1.2m market for 2016.

Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee said that there are signs of the market bottoming out. “March sales result demonstrates that the automotive market as a whole is not in good shape yet although gradually moving closer to hitting a bottom after many months of continuous decline,” he said. “Further progress in this direction largely depends on the stability of the macroeconomic environment and the continuity of government efforts in stimulating market demand in the coming months”.