RUSSIA: August sales dive 26% in jittery market

By Simon Warburton | 9 September 2014

"August - another difficult month" - AEB AMC chairman Joerg Schreiber

"August - another difficult month" - AEB AMC chairman Joerg Schreiber

Russian sales of new passenger cars and LCVs dropped sharply yet again in August, plunging 26% to reach a fraction more than 172,000 units.

The data - compiled by the Association of European Businesses (AEB) Automobile Manufacturers Committee - confirms months of gloomy figures with the Russian government recently announcing a revival of the country's former scrappage scheme from now until the end of 2014.

In the January-August period, new car and LCV sales declined by 12.1% or 217,092 units, while so far this year, 1,582,713 cars have been sold.

"August was another difficult month for car sales, which hardly surprised anyone in the industry," said AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee chairman, Joerg Schreiber.

"The recently announced government incentive for the scrappage and trade-in of vehicles raises hopes the market slide can be stopped.

Whether this will be the case or not depends on how quickly the programme will come into effect, so that market participants can finally make use of it."

Speaking to just-auto at the recent Motor Show in Moscow and days ahead of the scrappage scheme announcement, Schreiber said any incentives could "support the segments hit hardest, which are the low-income groups.

"I would not be worried [concerning any pull-through effect] - I think it would be a welcome come-back for most brands," he said.

The US$267m automotive scrappage scheme will be worth around US$1,000 per car and is expected to boost the market by around 170,000 vehicles.