Imports of used cars to Russia rose sharply in 2000, but new car imports fell, according to data released by Interfax. Russia imported 47,851 new cars in 2000, down 15% from 56,147 units in 1999. Used car imports totalled 154,500 units, an increase of 93% from 1999's 80,000 units, Natalya Konstantinova, secretary of the Russian Automobile Dealers Association, told Interfax.

The decline in imports of new cars was put down mainly to lower supplies from Asian companies. Hyundai Motor more than halved shipments of new cars to Russia, selling 554 cars, compared with 1,268 in 1999. Toyota sold 2,307autos to Russia, down 42% from 4,000 in 1999. Nissan sold 2,536 units, down 38% from 4,098 in 1999.

Experts attribute the significant rise in demand for second-hand cars to the population's increased buying power now that economic growth has resumed in Russia, following the recession of recent years. The Russian new car market is estimated at 1,160,806 units in 2000, compared with 1,100,167 units in 1999. Imports made up 4.7% of the market, compared with 5.5% in 1999. Almost all foreign auto manufacturers plan to increase their sales in Russia in 2001.


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