PwC forecasts Russian sales falling up to 35% this year image

Russian new-car registrations are in a deep dive this year as well, with accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasting that demand would be roughly 25 to 35 percent lower than last year.

The steep drop would come after already Russian deliveries slowed in 2013 and last year, with demand lagging because of a weakening local currency and a sharply declining economy. The prediction calls for sales of between 1.52 million to 1.75 million vehicles in 2015, after 2014 deliveries already succumbed 10 percent and totaled 2.34 million units. According to PwC, domestic brands would suffer the least, falling just ten percent – followed by locally built foreign autos, which could see a 33 percent dive. Imported cars would suffer the most of the fallout – with a 55% drop for the year.

The Moscow-based Association of European Businesses, or AEB, announced in a recent statement that January sales in Russia dropped 24 percent after a small resurgence in December, when they were up 2.4 percent. Last year the local currency was devalued by at least 40 percent and Russian customers rushed in December to spend their economies before they lost even more of their value. “If December was a big party for many market participants, then January is the equivalent to a bad hangover,” commented Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee. He added that as most automakers raised prices to counter the currency headwinds would further impact the already declining sales. PwC believes that in Russia the main factors influencing the auto market this year will be the geopolitical situation, oil price, currency exchange rate, lending opportunities and the governmental support.

Via Automotive News Europe