Russian car sales rise 10% in September as market cools
Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia grew 10 percent year-on-year in September to 259,582 units, but there are signs that one of the biggest car markets in Europe is starting to slowdown, the Association of European Businesses said in a statement.
"The hot phase of fast year-on-year growth in Russia is over, for now. On the backdrop of the situation in the rest of Europe however, a 10 percent increase in sales is a very respectable result," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB, said in the statement.
In August, deliveries rose 15 percent while they were up 14 percent in July, compared with 2011 figures.
Despite the slowdown, premium automakers continued to make gains in the Russian market. Sales of BMW vehicles rose 51 percent last month, while Audi sales increased 57 percent and Mercedes-Benz deliveries rose by 18 percent.
Among the country's top 10 sellers, Kia replaced Renault as No. 3 with sales growth of 38 percent. Despite a sales increase of 16 percent, Renault was pushed into sixth place behind No. 4 Hyundai, whose sales fell 1 percent, and fifth-placed Volkswagen, which increased sales by 17 percent. AvtoVAZ's Lada remained the country's top-selling brand followed by Chevrolet, which increased sales 21 percent.
In the first nine months, Russia sales rose 14 percent to 2.18 million, ranking the country second behind Germany, where 2.36 million vehicles were sold through September, according to data from the German federal transport authority (KBA).
Analysts expect Russia to pass Germany as Europe's No. 1 market as early as 2014. The AEB forecasts that 2.85 million vehicles will be sold in Russia this year, which would be an increase of about 8 percent from the previous year. (See PDF of Russia sales results, below)
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