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May 12, 2020

Russia sales plummet 72% in ‘Black April’

New car and light commercial vehicle sales in Russia plunged 72.4% in April compared to last year as the coronavirus situation continues to impact the country.

By Rhodri Morgan

New car and light commercial vehicle sales in Russia plunged 72.4% in April compared to last year as the coronavirus situation continues to impact the country.

The huge fall is in stark contrast to March numbers, which had seen an unexpected sales increase of 4% as the Russian currency weakened.

In April, 2020, sales of new cars and LCVs in Russia decreased by 72.4% or by 102,089 sold units, amounting to 38,922 cars, according to the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).

“After exceptionally high March sales, in April 2020, dealer operations forced to be stopped or extremely limited with the COVID-19 related lock-down situation,” said AEB AMC chairman, Thomas Staertzel.

“With [a] -72.4 % sale decrease compared to same month last year, the Russian automotive industry experienced the strongest monthly sales decrease in the AEB statistics history. ‘Black April’ 2020 strongly challenged dealer liquidity and mid-term, even their sustainability.

“New reality forces all of us to try different creative communication and sales formats to stay close to customers. Dealers are preparing for restart, although I do not expect much better sales results in May.”

The AEB has appealed to the government proposing State support measures for the automotive industry.

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