Russia’s Association of European Businesses (AEB) automotive chairman, says it will probably be “sooner rather than later” that Moscow introduces incentives to kick-start the alarmingly falling market.

Enormous political uncertainties triggered by the fallout surrounding Russia’s annexation of Crimea and what for some is a de facto civil war in East Ukraine, have seen the automotive market plunge for most of this year as consumer confidence continues to leak.

“I think it is pretty realistic to assume something will happen rather sooner than later,” AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman, Joerg Schreiber, told just-auto at yesterday’s (27 August) Moscow Motor Show.

“It could be a revival of the automotive credit scheme, maybe in a modified way. Something which would support the segments hit hardest, which [are] the low income groups.

“If anything might happen, it may come in the last quarter of this calendar year. I would not be worried [concerning any pull-through effect] – I think it would be a welcome come-back for most brands.”

Russia’s automotive market has endured a torrid 2014, with Schreiber estimating “there is no bottom to be seen yet,” although this could occur next month or October after what are predicted to be poor August sales.

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“The government will get their act together and do something,” said Schreiber, noting Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, had “recently hinted at that,” as politicians viewed the auto industry as a barometer of consumer confidence.

Scrappage is another stimulus measure widely rumoured to be under consideration by the Russian government as tit for tat sanctions enacted by Moscow and Western capitals show every sign of increasing.

Travel restrictions believed to target President Vladimir’s inner circle have seen Moscow ban a range of European Union foodstuffs in retaliation, which has forced Russian consumers to turn to homegrown produce.