Car sales in Russia have reached last year the lowest level since 2009, and forecasts show the decrease will continue in 2016.
Russian sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles declined in 2015 by 890, 187 units in comparison with the same period of the previous year, marking a 35.7 percent plunge. 1,601,126 cars have been sold in total, reaching the lowest level since the country’s previous recession in 2009, according to the Association of European Businesses. Even the forecasts for this year are not very encouraging, as demand will probably decline another 4.7 percent in 2016 to 1.53 million cars and light commercial vehicles, Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB’s Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said. If the projections prove accurate, it will lead the Russian car-market into its fourth consecutive year of decrease.
As for December figures, car deliveries in the country dropped by 45.7 percent compared with December 2014 or by 123,682 sold units, and amounted to 146,963 vehicles. This follows a 42.7 percent decrease in November, a 38.5 percent fall in October and a 29 percent decline a month earlier.
The Russian economy has been in its deepest crisis in a decade, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said this week, with prices for oil falling at the lowest level in 12 years, accompanied by inflation and a continuous ruble devaluation. The current exchange rate “creates a difficult situation for automakers, prompting them to boost prices,” Schreiber said. “Still, 2016 will be less turbulent for the car market. The pace of sales decline is set to slow.”