Vehicle sales grew 20% year on year to 2.06m vehicles in 2006, PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Stanley Ruth told Prime-Tass on Tuesday.

Automobile sales’ worth rose 45% to $US32billion, Ruth added.

Sales of new domestic cars totalled 800,000 units worth $5.8bn, sales of foreign-brand cars made in Russia came to 280,000 units worth $4.4bn, sales of imported new cars amounted to 720,000 units worth $18.2bn and sales of used foreign cars amounted to 260,000 units worth $3.6bn, Ruth told the news agency without providing comparisons.

He told Prime-Tass that, by 2010, the Russian vehicle market might become Europe’s second largest, behind Germany, due to the increased availability of consumer financing.

Ruth projects new automobile sales in Russia at between 2.5m and 3.5m vehicles per year by 2015, Prime-Tass noted, adding that the size of the growing Russian market is already comparable to Europe’s largest markets – Italy, France and the UK, according to Ruth.