Modified: February 11, 2013 6:28 AM
Russian car sales grew 5% in January; flat 2013 forecast
MOSCOW -- Russian new-car sales grew 5 percent year-on-year in January, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said.
January sales picked up in response to shorter delivery times and better price offers after an increase of just 1 percent in December, Joerg Schreiber, AEB automobile manufacturers committee chairman, said in a statement on Friday.
Schreiber said the January result was "very encouraging," especially as the Russian market grew to record levels last year boosted by a very strong first half.
The AEB has estimated that 2.95 million cars will be sold in Russia during 2013, flat on the previous year's figure of 2.94 million, as drivers reduce spending due to concerns about economic troubles in Europe.
Last month, Lada remained Russia's top-selling brand with volume up 3 percent to 30,037 vehicles. No. 2 Renault saw sales increase 35 percent to 14,741 and third-placed Hyundai recorded growth of 11 percent to 11,306.
Western carmakers including General Motors, Ford, Renault and Fiat have invested heavily in Russia to take advantage of a market that is expected to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest some time this decade. Among the top 10 best-selling passenger cars in Russia so far, nine are produced in the country.
Reuters contributed to this report