Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. were among the biggest losers as new-car sales in Russia showed no signs of recovery in July, plummeting deeper than in June despite redoubled government efforts to revive the industry.
Data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) showed Russia sales fell 58 percent to 115,483 units last month compared with the same period a year ago, a slightly worse showing than the 56 percent slump seen in June.
Through seven months, sales were down 50 percent to 879,144 units, according to the AEB.
Market leader Lada's sales were down 42 percent last month to 32,426. GM-owned Chevrolet, Russias No. 2-selling brand, saw its volume drop by 59 percent to 7,798 units while third-ranked Ford was down 72 percent to 5,333 vehicles.
Sales at GMs Opel unit, which potential new owner, Magna International Inc. wants to expand in Russia, fell 62 percent to 3,243. Opel ranks 11th in Russia with sales of 25,066 through seven months.
Rescue not working
Global automakers have expanded aggressively into Russia over the past few years, expecting it to become Europe's largest market in 2009 as it had long been among the fastest growing.
But the countrys car sales plunged as consumers found it hard to get credit to buy cars during the economic crisis.
The main part of a Russian-government rescue package for the auto industry, a subsidy offered to banks for lowering the price of car loans, appears to have had little effect. Officials and car dealers have said the incentive has failed to attract buyers in significant numbers, even though the state extended the subsidies to a broader range of cars in early July.
"We hope the actions taken by the government will start to reverse this trend during the summer, but urge close monitoring of the situation to ensure the actions are taking effect," David Thomas, chairman of the AEB's Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.