The Russian economic and political crisis continues to keep the country’s auto industry in the slow lane with May sales tumbling 37.6% to 125,801 units.
The Association of European Businesses Automobile Manufacturers Committee says the latest result left the year-to-date total down 37.7% at 641,933 units – and the 5-month total of 1,030,533 a year ago just a fading memory.
Committee chairman Joerg Schreiber says on the surface there was no visual improvement in May from the weak sales in the months since the beginning of the year.
“At the same time, general customer activity is undergoing a mild reactivation, thanks to a gradual reduction in bank interest rates and new-car prices supported by a more robust ruble exchange rate,” Schreiber says in a statement.
“This relative improvement is unlikely to bring about a fundamental turnaround for the market, but should help to slow down the pace of year-on-year sales decline in the coming weeks and months.”
The AEB will update its full-year forecast for the Russian market next month.
Lada remained the market leader in May with sales off 33% at 22,857 units for a 5-month total down 39% at 114,270.
Hyundai followed, slipping just 13% in May to 13,613 units for a year-to-date total off 8% at 67,613. Kia fell 27% to 12,355 units and a total so far this year down 19% at 62,287.
Chevrolet managed to move 3,399 units during the month, down 61% from a year ago, while its 5-month total was off 69% at 17,951. Ford saw its May deliveries slow 31% to 2,780 units, giving it a year-to-date total down 60% at 19,627.
Hyundai’s Solaris took over as model leader in May as its sales rose 8.8% to 10,654 units, while the longtime leader Lada Granta dropped 34.6% to 8,471, not far ahead of Kia’s New Rio, sliding 12.3% to 7,460.
Year-to-date, the Granta still leads the market, down 15.3% at 49,542 units, followed by the Solaris, easing just 1.2% at 44,455 units and well ahead of the New Rio, off 12.4% at 33,700.