Russia: New car sales up 39% in 2011 image

New car sales in Russia rose 39 percent in 2011 to 2.65 million units, according to a press release from the Moscow-based European business association AEB.

That’s up 39 percent on 2010, but still a long way short of the 3 million cars sold at the peak of the market in 2008.

Sales crashed to 1.5 million in 2009 and have been recovering since. The market may now hit the much-vaunted 4-million mark “maybe in 2014, maybe by 2017,” Thomas said.

“The ingredients for growth this year remain: low level of car ownership, age of vehicles in use” as well as potential in the regions, Thomas said today in a statement.

“For this to be realized we will need to see stability in the availability of finance for vehicle purchase and a stable investment climate.”

Russian producers Avtovaz was like the years before the largest car manufacturer in Russia and has sold 578,378 cars of its main brand Lada in 2011, although growth was with 11 percent significantly lower than the competition.

The most popular foreign brand was GM group’s Chevrolet, which sold 173,484 new cars, up 49 percent from 116,223 last year.