Chinese make big gains in Russia, putting pressure on Lada
Chinese automakers are exporting a variety of cars, SUVs and commercial trucks to Russia, and now they are starting to consolidate their niche with local production.
Last year, Chinese automakers shipped 67,701 vehicles to Russia, China's third-largest export market behind Brazil and Algeria.
This year, exports to Russia continue to rise, according to the Association of European Businesses in Russia. In the first five months of 2012:
-- Lifan sold 7,710 units in Russia, up 30 percent;
-- Chery Automobile Co. sold 6,828 units, up 288 percent;
-- Geely sold 5,099 units, up 257 percent;
-- Great Wall sold 4,785 units, up 123 percent.
In terms of sheer size, Russia ranks with Brazil and India as one of the world's largest emerging markets, so it is no surprise that Chinese automakers are focusing on their neighbor.
"When competing with Russian brands such as Lada, Chinese brands have three advantages: low price, better styling and better quality," said Lin Huaibin, a Shanghai-based analyst for IHS Automotive.
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