Analysts believe that the resurgence in new-car sales in Russia may be long lasting, and the country may become Europe’s biggest auto market.
According to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses Russia is expected to report by the end of this year auto sales of about 2.85 million, close to the 2.9 million sales reached in 2008 before the country’s crash and close to Germany’s 3.2 million units sold last year. This good news gave auto makers some hope and GM has already announced an aggressive expansion in Russia. In June the company doubled capacity at its St. Petersburg plant and made an investment of $1 billion over the next five years.
“Only a few markets in the world are growing so rapidly and have such great potential for continued long-term growth,” said Jim Bovenzi, president of GM Russia.
On Wednesday, July 25th, Rick Snyder and 13 other US governors proposed the Congress to approve normal trade relations with Russia to help the country boost exports. Russia is expected to join the World Trade Organization in August.
“With about 142 million people and a growing middle class, Russia’s joining the WTO offers our companies, workers and farmers tremendous new opportunities to sell their goods and services,” the governors wrote.