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Russia’s Association of European Businesses (AEB) has posted one of its most gloomy reports yet, recording a calamitous 46% drop in passenger cars and LCVs in December, with an overall plunge of 36% for last year.

Sales of new passenger cars and LCVs in Russia decreased by 45.7% in December 2015 or by 123,682 sold units, and amounted to 146,963 vehicles, according to the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).

In 2015, new car and LCV sales declined by 35.7% or 890,187 units in comparison with the same period the previous year. This year saw 1.6m cars sold.

“December sales of 147,000 units represent the best monthly result achieved in 2015, at the same staying far below prior year’s all-time record of 270,000,” said AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman, Joerg Schreiber.

Annual sales of PC and LCV [vehicles] in 2015 reached 1.6m units, 890,000 units or 35.7% below the 2014 level of 2.49m. Expectations for the new year are muted.

“AEB member forecast for the total market in 2016 is to reach 1.53m units, assuming no major change in government support to the automotive sector. Under this condition, it appears possible to limit further volume erosion to a level of under 5% year-on-year.

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By GlobalData

“This would be some progress in view of the dramatic losses in the recent past, bearing in mind however, it remains uncertain when the market will finally stabilise and return to much needed growth.”