MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian car sales fell for a ninth straight month in November, down 4 percent to 231,982, the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses said today in a statement.
In October, sales in the market fell 8 percent.
Sales of new cars in Russia have fallen in 2013 as consumers have refrain from big-ticket purchases because of the country’s weak economy.
“No question, the total industry is still declining, albeit at a slower pace,” Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB, said in the statement. Schreiber said a long-awaited flattening of year-on-year sales numbers had yet to happen.
“We hope December will show progress in this direction and deliver a decent close to an otherwise difficult year,” he said.
Schreiber last week forecast that Russian car sales may end the year down 6 percent but will likely stabilize in 2014. The AEB will publish its official forecast for 2014 in January.
Lada remained the best-selling brand in the market last month, but sales fell 19 percent to 36,509 as foreign carmakers made inroads into a market that analysts predict will soon overtake Germany to become the biggest in Europe.
Renault, which along with alliance partner Nissan is seeking to take control of Lada’s parent company AvtoVAZ, continued to increase sales in the market. Renault is the best-selling foreign brand in Russia and the No. 2 brand after Lada, with sales of 17,721 last month, a rise of 3 percent.
Deliveries of the automaker’s Duster compact SUV grew 12 percent last month, making the Duster the No. 3 best-selling model in the market in November.
Kia and Hyundai were the third and fourth best-selling marques last month. Kia sales rose 16 percent to 17,399, while Hyundai deliveries jumped 6 percent to 15,539.
General Motors Chevrolet brand remained the No. 5 seller in Russia last month, but sales slid 18 percent to 13,576. Deliveries at sibling brand Opel rose 1 percent to 5,968. Last week, GM said it planned to drop the Chevrolet brand in Europe by the end of 2015, as the automaker attempts to turn around its European operations and to focus its resources on reviving Opel in the region. GM said Chevrolet sales will continue in Russia.
Deliveries at Volkswagen’s core brand dropped 9 percent last month to 12,852 units.
Sales of premium German brands rose in November led by BMW, which jumped 33 percent to 4,144. Mercedes-Benz sales rose 17 percent to 4,011, while Audi sales were up 18 percent to 3,468.
Sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles declined 6 percent in the first 11 months to 2.5 million, the AEB said.