Russia’s Car Sales Run Into Deeper Rut in March

Amidst Kremlin-inspired anti-American sentiment over the Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions, the General Motors Group of Chevrolet, Opel and Cadillac finished both March and the first quarter down 75.5%.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

April 9, 2015

2 Min Read
Lada still topselling brand despite 26 backslide in March
Lada still top-selling brand despite 26% backslide in March.

The slow collapse of the Russian new-vehicle market continued in March with deliveries tumbling 42.5% to just 139,850 units.

The Association of European Businesses Automobile Manufacturers Committee says this left first-quarter sales off 36.3% at 383,691 units.

Committee Chairman Joerg Schreiber says the total market performance in March was bad but not much worse than expected.

“What we are seeing now in the sales statistics is the long-predicted ‘hole’ in consumer demand, caused by the pull-ahead of car purchases at the end of last year and compounded by heavy price inflation in the current year,” Schreiber says in a statement. “Sooner or later, the situation will stabilize, but we are not at this point yet.”

Lada was the big fish in a shrinking pond with March deliveries down 26% year-on-year to 27,423 units for a 3-month total off 25% at 68,554.

Hyundai saw March deliveries drop 15% to 13,901 units for a first-quarter drop of 3.5% to 39,841, while Kia was off 31.9% for the month at 12,121 units and a year-to-date result down 14.8% at 36,030.

Amidst Kremlin-inspired anti-American sentiment over the Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions, the General Motors Group of Chevrolet, Opel and Cadillac suffered collateral damage, finishing March down 75.5% at 5,073 units for a first-quarter total off 75.5% at 13,435 units.

Chevrolet alone was back in 12th place as its March deliveries plummeted 74.4% to 3,443 units, leaving it down 72.4% at 9,748 after three months. The bowtie brand’s top seller, the Niva, fell to 17th place and was down 46.2% year-on-year at 2,315 units.

Ford suffered a similar fate with March sales off 72.9% at 1,848 units and its first-quarter tally down 70.9% at 5,060.

The dominant AvtoVAZ-Renault-Nissan group was down 31.3% in March to 49,667 units. Its year-to-date result was off 27.8% at 134,201.

Volkswagen Group fared worse, falling 48.7% for the month to 13,994 units to give it a 3-month total down 36.2% at 41,512.

Lada’s Granta was Russia’s best-selling model in March with 12,958 units, ahead of Hyundai’s Solaris (8,593) and Kia’s New Rio (7,176). With the first quarter in the rearview mirror, the Granta led the market with 30,170 deliveries, followed by Solaris (24,811) and New Rio (18,412).

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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