Russian Light Vehicle Sales Rose in 2021

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Russian Light Vehicle Sales Rose in 2021
© Evgenii Emelianov

New passenger and light commercial vehicle sales in Russia increased by 4.3% in 2021, driven primarily by positive sales in the second quarter of the year, a Russian trade association said.

Sales of the two categories of vehicles amounted to 1.67 million units in 2021, compared with 1.6 million units in 2020, the Association of European Business in Russia said in its annual press briefing held recently in Moscow.

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“The year of 2021 demonstrated 4.3% growth in new passenger and light commercial vehicle sales compared to 2020,” Thomas Staertzel, chairman of AEB’s automobile manufacturers committee, said in the briefing. “The positive figures resulted from the growth dynamics seen only in the second quarter of 2021, versus the same period in 2020, when lockdown effects took place.”

AEB is the main representative body of foreign investors in Russia. Its membership comprises more than 500 European and Russian companies.

Sales declined sharply over the last two months of 2021. Only 133,470 units of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in Russia in December, a decrease of almost 20% from the same month in 2020. The figures for November were similar.

“All of this is a result of the negative market effects of such global factors as the deficit of electronic components, logistics problems, supply chain breaks, increases in costs of materials,” Staertzel said. “We don’t see positive signs for a rapid improvement of the situation.”

AEB does not expect resolution of the negative factors before the second half of 2022. It expects no major changes for the Russian car market in 2022. The forecast for 2022 is an increase of 3.3% with total new car and light commercial vehicle sales expected to reach 1.72 million units.

In the last seven years, Russian sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles have fluctuated between 1.4 million and 1.8 million units.

As in 2020, Russia’s Lada and Korea’s Kia and Hyundai remained the three top-selling cars in Russia in 2021. Lada sold 350,714 units last year, up 2% from 2020. Kia sold 205,801 units, an increase of 2% over 2020. Hyundai sold 167,331 units in 2021, rising 3% from the previous year.

Other popular carmakers in Russia are France’s Renault, which sold 131,552 units last year, a 2% rise from 2020. Toyota sold 97,941 units (up 7% from 2020), Skoda sold 90,443 units (down 4% from 2020), while Volkswagen sold 86,108 units (down 14% from 2020).

Sales of Chinese passenger cars more than doubled in Russia last year.

The Chinese brand Haval sold 39,126 units last year, compared with 17,381 units in 2020, while Chery’s sales rose from 11,452 to 37,118 units, and Geely’s rose from 15,475 to 24,587.

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