Russia breaks car sales record in 2012: study

15th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Russian sales of cars and light commercial vehicles hit a record high level, climbing 11 percent in 2012, although this year's outlook holds little promise, a closely-watched study said on Tuesday.

The Association for European Businesses said that Russians purchased 2.935 million cars and LCVs (vans and trucks) last year, a strong number that was hampered by a poor December, when sales went up by only one percent.

This flattening demand is likely to continue in 2013, the report cautioned, noting that the year "holds little promise for a quick return to growth."

The association forecasts 2013 sales to reach 2.95 million units.

The old sales record was established in 2008, the year Russia entered a recession which was followed by a slow recovery driven by consumer demand.

Foreign car makers have converged on Russia since the economic crisis, expecting sales to eventually eclipse those of current European market leader Germany.

Although Russia's Lada brand hung on to first place on the domestic market, foreign makers claimed the next nine spots, with Chevrolet coming in second and Nissan third.

But the European association report noted that all 10 models were locally produced.

© 2013 AFP

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