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Kia Rio defied market with yearonyear sales uptick in 2015
<p><strong>Kia Rio defied market with year-on-year sales uptick in 2015.</strong></p>

Russian 2015 Auto Sales Off 35.7%; 2016 Forecast Dim

An industry group predicts 2016 sales will reach 1.53 million units, down 5.2% from 2015, assuming no major revisions to government aid to the automotive sector.

Russian auto sales tumbled 35.7% in 2015 to 1.6 million units and an industry group predicts 2016 will see even lower volumes.

December was the year’s best month in terms of sales with 146,693 units, down 45.7% from prior-year, according to the Association of European Businesses Automobile Manufacturers Committee, which manages data for the industry.

Committee Chairman Joerg Schreiber says despite December posting the year’s best monthly result, it fell far below the record 270,000 sales logged in 2015. “Expectations for the new year are muted,” he adds.

The committee predicts 2016 sales will reach 1.53 million units, assuming no major revisions to government aid to the automotive sector.

“Under this condition, it appears possible to limit further volume erosion to a level of under 5% year-on-year,” Schreiber says. “This would be some progress in view of the dramatic losses in the recent past, bearing in mind, however, that it remains uncertain when the market will finally stabilize and return to much-needed growth.”

Lada retained the market lead with December sales down 34% to 23,462 units for a full-year total down 31% at 269,096.

Kia ranked second after delivering 15,215 units last month, off 25%, for a 2015 total off 16% at 163,500.

Hyundai followed closely with December sales sliding 17% to 12,570 units for a full-year total of 161,201, down 10%.

U.S. automakers finished 11th and 12th.

Ford’s December result fell 51% to 4,530 units to edge Chevrolet, down 76% at 3,366. But Chevy was comfortably clear for the full year, with deliveries down 60% at 49,765 units, while Ford was off 41% at 38,607.

The General Motors group ended the year down 64.3% at 67,589 units. Along with Chevrolet, it included Opel, slumping 74% at 16,682 units and Cadillac, off 14% at 1,142.

FCA Automobiles, comprising Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, Dodge and Alfa Romeo, fell 64.1% to 5,943 units. Fiat was the major contributor, down 53% to 3,799 units, followed by Jeep, off 76% at 2,057.

Lada’s Granta was the year’s best-selling model, down 21.3% with 120,868 deliveries. It was followed by the Hyundai Solaris, which managed to eke out a small gain in the down market with sales up 1.1% at 115,868 units.

Kia’s New Rio also finished ahead of like-2014, rising 3.7% to 97,097 sales.

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