The Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) has reported that combined car and LCV sales in Russia were down by 38% year-on-year in February as the recession continued to bite.

Russia market sales in February reached 134,912 units.

“February’s result, which shows car sales in Russia continuing to decrease further, is not a surprise for the industry”, said David Thomas, AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee’s Chairman.

In the first two months of the year sales reached 252,314 units, 36% below the same period of last year.

“The situation in Russia is similar to the current global car market and February’s credit availability situation remained the same as earlier, so the trend already seen in January continues”, Martin Jahn, Vice Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee said.

“Because of the increased customs tariffs, high loan interest rates and the rouble devaluation we can expect a further price increase and decline of the automotive market in Russia in the coming months. However, we hope that the measures undertaken by the local authorities, aimed at supporting the automotive industry in Russia will help to improve the situation,” he said.

Market leader Lada sold 29,344 units in February, a decline of 36% on last year.