Russia sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles decreased by 2.1% in December, or by 3,490 sold units, amounting to 166,666 cars, according to the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).

In 2020, new car and LCV sales decreased by 9.1% or by 160,707 units in comparison with the previous year.

From January-December, 1,598,825 cars were sold.

“The year-end race with positive sales dynamics in September-November finished below expectations: new vehicle sales in December, 2020 decreased by 2.1% vs. December, 2019,” said AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman, Thomas Staertzel.

“The recent growth pushed by currency devaluation, post-lockdown effects and increased demand linked to awaited price adaptation has stopped and is followed by a more stable trend with lower market demand.

“With finally 1,598,825 passenger vehicles and LCVs, 2020 sales are even slightly higher than recent AEB AMC forecast, but still 9.1% below [the] previous year.

“2020 was another very challenging year for the Russian automotive business: only four months with new vehicle sales above [the] previous year. Despite all difficulties, the sales dynamic 2020 makes Russia one of the best performers among the biggest automotive markets worldwide and number four in Europe.

“This year also demonstrates a quite robust position and long-term market commitment of the manufacturers and that governmental support is vital for a sustainable automotive business in Russia. For 2021 we do not expect significant changes and forecast a market growth of 2.1%, which is only 33,000 more new passenger cars and LCVs, a total of 1,632,000 cars.”