Sales of Chinese Cars Surge in Russia


Sales of Chinese Cars Surge in Russia
Facade of a Voyah electric vehicle store in Saint Petersburg, Russia. EV manufacturer Voyah is the luxury division of Chinese State-owned automaker Dongfeng Motor Corp. © DiPres

Sales of new passenger cars in Russia rebounded by 69% in 2023 to 1.1 million units, boosted by a hefty uptake of Chinese models, the Moscow-based analytical agency Autostat reported Jan. 11.

The revival, improving from 626,000 units sold in 2022, remained far behind numbers in 2021, the year before Russia invaded Ukraine and was slapped with an array of Western sanctions. Sales in 2021 amounted to 1.5 million new vehicles.

Autostat found that a significant number of these new car sales are Chinese models, assembled in Russia or imported. The share of imports increased from 14% in 2022 to 42% in 2023.

The results are based on data collected by Autostat and its partner consulting company PPK.

Heavy-duty vehicles saw the largest proportional increase as sales rose 71% to 144,000 units significantly better than the 100,000 units sold in 2021. Autostat predicted new car sales will grow between 18% and 32% this year, based on several factors.

Chinese carmakers have filled gaps left by departures of Western companies, and Autostat analysts expect their sales to continue growing in 2024.

“There is a desire [from Chinese carmakers] to sell up to 2 million cars on the Russian market, and there is a desire from people to buy them,” Autostat’s head Sergei Tselikov said at a conference, some media reported.

Factories idled since Western automakers departed over Russia’s actions in Ukraine are also likely to restart this year, Tselikov added.

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