MOSCOW -- Russian vehicle sales got off to a poor start in 2014, falling 6 percent to 152,662 in January, the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) said.
The group expects full-year deliveries to decline by 2 percent against a weak economic backdrop.
The January result follows a modest 4 percent rebound in December, after nine consecutive months of falling deliveries in 2103.
Overall the Russian market fell by 6 percent last year to 2.78 million units, bringing to an end three years of double-digit growth in Russia and delaying the country's move to succeed Germany as Europe's No. 1 market.
"January sales turned out weaker than many had hoped for," said Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB said in a statement. "January is small volume though, and therefore not a serious indicator for anything."
The AEB added the pace of contraction was encouraging and it maintained its short-term expectation for the market to stabilize.