“Quite some progress in a short period of time - AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman Joerg Schreiber reflecting on yet another sales rise for Russia

“Quite some progress in a short period of time - AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman Joerg Schreiber reflecting on yet another sales rise for Russia

Russia is continuing its stellar recovery from the calamitous falls in car and light commercial vehicle sales during the past four years to record November numbers up 15%.

Among the top ten bestselling models so far, all models are locally produced. In November, sales of new cars and LCVs in Russia increased by 15 % compared with last year or by 19,913 sold units, and amounted to 152,259 cars, according to the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).

This year from January to November, 1,430,197 cars were sold.

"With 15% year-on-year improvement, November's sales result put another firm stake in the ground on the recovery path of the Russian car market," said AEB AMC chairman, Joerg Schreiber.

"Cumulative sales in the past 11 months delivered a plus of 12% over the same period in 2016. It is well worth remembering exactly one year ago, we were still looking at a cumulative minus of 12%.

"Quite some progress in a short period of time. One month to go before we know how good the current year finally was and where the starting line for 2018 will be."

It is unclear just why Russian consumers feel confident enough to buy such large ticket items, but the Kremlin has made a sustained effort to ease access to credit, coupled with a heavily financed automotive incentive programme.

The country is frequently buffeted by energy fluctuations, but after a period when prices dipped precipitously, the graph has risen sharply upwards with a barrel of oil recently touching US$60 for the first time in a long while.

Despite continuing political disapproval from the West towards Russia surrounding its annexation of Crimea and influence on Eastern Ukraine, the political leadership remains strong, with President Vladimir Putin recently confirming his intention to run for the Kremlin hot seat again in 2018.

Next year will also see Russia host the football World Cup, whose impact is as yet unquantifiable in economic terms, but which will nonetheless generate a major feel good factor for the country.