Ford brand's June sales rose sharply in Russia last month due to strong demand for the locally built Focus compact sedan.
Ford's June volume was up 115 percent to 9,804 units while Focus sales increased by 181 percent to 7,565, data from the Association of European Businesses showed.
The surge lifted the Focus to No. 5 on Russia's list of top-five models with six-month sales of 30,088 cars, a 3 percent rise compared with the first half of 2009. (Click on Russia Top 10 table, below right)
The Focus, which Ford makes in St. Petersburg, had not cracked the top five since February, according to AEB data.
The rise in demand for the Focus also pushed Ford past Hyundai into fifth place in Russian six-month sales with a total volume of 39,369 units, which is 20 percent below the same period last year.
AvtoVAZ, Russia's largest automaker, Ford, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen brand and others producing cars in the country are benefiting from a government-subsidized car scrapping program that launched in March.
Russia's scheme - recently extended with a 10.5 billion ruble ($339 million) cash injection - gives car buyers 50,000 rubles for trading in cars that are at least 10 years old for new, locally made models.
The scheme has given a huge boost to AvtoVAZ, which has seen sales of its Lada models outstrip the market after flirting with bankruptcy last year.
Lada's first-half volume was up 23 percent to 220,774 units. The brand's sales rose 77 percent in June to 51,172.
By comparison, the market's overall sales were up 3 percent in the first six month and 45 percent in June. (Click on Russia sales above right)
Russia's rebound caused the AEB to raise its overall sales forecast for 2010 to 1.67 million cars and light commercial vehicles from 1.60 million. It is the second time the industry association has provided a more positive outlook for the market since March. Its original forecast was 1.5 million.
Renault, which produces the low-cost Logan sedan at a plant in Moscow, expects strong growth in the Russian car market this year, with around 1.8 million vehicle sales, Commercial Director Jerome Stoll told a news conference.
The Russian market had been tipped to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest before the crisis hit, but sales halved in 2009.
"The market fell to a totally and abnormally low level," Stoll said.
The introduction of the scrapping program has caused Renault to re-evaluate its outlook for that market.
"The Russian market is very well positioned at the moment. It is a market that is growing and whose growth we think will continue in 2011 and certainly after that," Stoll said, adding the Russian market could reach 2.4 to 2.5 million units in coming years.