Russia's revival is expected to last
MOSCOW -- Industry leaders believe the resurgence in Russian new-car sales may be long-lasting, putting the county on track to permanently become Europe's biggest car market.
Sales in Russia this year are expected to be about 2.85 million, according to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) -- close to the country's pre-crash high of 2.9 million in 2008 and approaching Germany's 3.2 million sales last year.
Car companies are responding to this rare bit of good news within Europe, with General Motors the latest automaker to announce an aggressive expansion in local production.
"Only a few markets in the world are growing so rapidly and have such great potential for continued long-term growth," said Jim Bovenzi, president of GM Russia.
Before the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, Russia was on track to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest auto market, but car and light commercial vehicle sales collapsed as credit dried up.
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