After a long period of decline that began with the international financial crisis of late 2008, Russia’s light vehicle market notched up 20% year-on-year growth in April.

Growth is off a low base and was helped by the scrappage scheme introduced in March.

Sales of new passenger cars and LCVs in Russia decreased by 13% in the first four months.

The AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee’s Chairman, David Thomas said: “April saw the first year on year growth of the Russian automotive market in a single month since October 2008. It was also the first full month of operation of the scrappage scheme and gives a strong indication of the impact that this programme is having particularly at the low cost end of the market.

“It is also encouraging that growth is not restricted to those brands eligible for the scrappage scheme though the significant variation in year on year movement between different brands shows that some volatility in the market remains. Overall an encouraging result that supports March’s increase in the AMC ‘s full year forecast.”

The AEB also said that non-domestic brands are also seeing a positive trend.

However, the organisation warned that ‘despite some positive signs, it is still too early to speak of the steady sales growth tendency.’

The AEB said that light vehicle sales reached 163,299 units, 20% up on last year. In the first four months of the year sales reached 456,179 units, 13% down on the same period of last year.

AvtoVAZ brand Lada is emerging as a major beneficiary of the scrappage scheme with its low price cars. Its sales in April reached 52,449 units – 54% up on last year. Lada sales in the first four months of the year 124,081 units, 1% ahead of last year.

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