MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian new-car sales in July jumped 48 percent year-on-year as economic recovery and an extension of a scrapping scheme continued to support growth, although extreme heat could be taking its toll on buyers in the current market.
The Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Monday that 173,171 cars were sold in Russia last month, narrowly below 174,838 in June but way above the 117,264 sold in a crisis-hit July 2009.
Volkswagen AG vice president and AEB member Martin Jahn said the figures are encouraging but warned against becoming over optimistic about the remainder of the year.
"In August and September there may be some slowdown due to holidays on the majority of Russian factories as well as emergency weather conditions in several regions of central Russia," he said in a statement.
Russia is currently gripped by a severe heatwave and the worst drought in decades -- conditions likely to disrupt visits to car showrooms.
The Russian car industry has been on the rise since a state sponsored scrapping scheme was put in place in March. Sales halved during 2009 as the economic crisis and a lack of access to credit sent shockwaves through the market, but are up 9 percent after seven months.