Russian monthly vehicle sales have surprisingly bucked their trend of unremitting free-fall to record a major slowdown in decline to just 13.4% last month.

Despite the drop, the February numbers are nonetheless a dramatic improvement compared to January, which showed a 29% plunge.

Last month saw sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia decrease by 13,4% or by 17,232 sold units and amounted to 111,145 cars, according to the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).

The first two months of this year have seen 193,072 cars sold.

“The pace of year-on-year decline is slowing down visibly, with minus 13% to the smallest value in 14 months,” said AEB AMC committee chairman, Joerg Schreiber.

“This is an expected and welcome development, much of it being attributable to the low volume base of last year.

“Now spring season is approaching and this is usually good news for car sales. So the coming weeks will show in what shape consumer demand really is these days.”

News of the uptick in numbers comes days after AvtoVAZ CEO, Bo Andersson stepped down from his post.