Russia: February sales down 38 percent image

The country continues its unending plunge in the abyss of economical disaster, with last month’s new car deliveries plunging 38 percent, following a 24 percent drop in January, according to Moscow-based industry body the Association of European Businesses.

Russia has a frail economy and has seen its currency plunge as the country has been hit by Western sanctions because of its implication in the Ukraine political crisis and the global crude oil price drop – with customers refraining from big-ticket items due to rising inflation. The AEB announced that last month were registered 128,298 new cars and light commercial vehicles, sliding from 206,526 in February 2014. Two-months sales for 2015 have dived so far 32 percent to a total of 243,826units. “The market is entering a very difficult phase now, and February is only the beginning. Industry sentiment in the next few months will be extremely difficult, and the market bottom has yet to be found,” commented Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee.

Meanwhile, market forecasts for the full-year evolution are increasingly grim, with the Association of European Businesses previously predicting an overall drop of 24 percent for the year – a figure seen too optimist by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ own forecast of a drop ranging between 25 percent and 35 percent. The AEB chairman said optimism was appearing after a recent end to the ruble’s deflation – sparking hopes the situation would slowly improve in the long term. He did refrain to comment on the previous forecast, even as analysts and executives have called it too optimist.

Via Automotive News Europe