MOSCOW -- Russian car sales rose 26 percent year-on-year in November to 49,406 units, the Association for European Businesses (AEB) said in a statement.
The AEB increased its forecast of new cars and light commercial vehicles sales in Russia to 2.6 million in 2011 up from 2.55 million. Sales in 2010 reached 1.91 million units.
The AEB said the first eleven months of 2011 saw sales increase by 41 percent to 2.4 million compared with the same period in 2010.
"The 26 percent increase for the month of November and prospects for December now indicate a full year market of 2.6 million cars. This will mean that for the full year the total industry volume will increase by nearly 37 percent compared to 2010," David Thomas, head of the AEB's autos committee said in the statement on Thursday.
"However, we do not at this stage see any cause to revise upwards our initial forecast for 2012 of 2.8 million cars and light commercial vehicles though this will lead to a much lower year to year growth of less than 8 percent for the coming year," he added.
Russia was on course to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest car market before the financial crisis caused a collapse in demand which halved sales in 2009.
Rebounding economic growth in Russia and a state-sponsored scrappage scheme helped boost a steady market recovery in 2010 and 2011, which led to predictions of a return to pre-crisis sales levels of 2.9 million in 2012.
Foreign carmakers including Ford, General Motors, Fiat and Renault are among the manufacturers betting on rapid growth in the emerging Russian market to help offset reduced sales in western Europe.