MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The Russian car market may become the world's sixth-largest by 2020, up from 10th currently, selling 4 million cars a year, a consultancy said.
The market is projected to grow at an 8 percent to 14 percent annual rate and reach pre-crisis yearly sales volumes of 3 million cars by 2013, Boston Consulting Group said.
Russia may overtake Germany by 2018 as the largest market for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Europe, the consultancy said.
The Russian auto industry has been a rollercoaster or the past 18 months, but now it is firmly back on track, said Ewald Kreid, head of the industrial goods practice in Boston Consulting's Moscow office.
Russian car sales will be boosted on the back of foreign partnerships, modernization and more local production, the consultancy said.
The Russian market halved in 2009, but is now recovering, with Russia's government expecting near 15 percent growth in its car market this year.
Sales of passenger and light commercial vehicles rose 30 percent to 1.91 million in 2010 from 2009 levels, but still fell 34 percent short of the pre-crisis 2008 sales, according to the Association of European Businesses in Russia.
In 2010, 70 percent of the growth came from the government's scrappage incentive program initiated in early 2010 to help Russia's flagship carmaker AvtoVAZ cope with the crisis. It boosted AvtoVAZ's Lada brand sales 48 percent in 2010, and will continue to fuel the sector's growth in the first half of 2011.