MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The Russian market of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) is expected to shrink by 24% in 2015 to 1.89 million vehicles, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Thursday.
It is not ruled out that some auto makers will have to quit the Russian market in this situation, the AEB said.
Russia’s car sales dropped by 10.3% in 2014 year on year to 2.49 million vehicles.
Passenger car sales of Russia's auto giant AvtoVAZ declined 15% to 387,300 last year. In December, the sales plunged 9% to 35,315 cars. AvtoVAZ still remains the leader on the Russian auto market as of year-end, the AEB said.Crisis trends that emerged on the Russian auto market in early 2013 intensified in 2014 amid the difficult economic and political situation in the country, western sanctions imposed against Moscow over its stance on the Ukraine crisis, a fall in world oil prices and, consequently, the rise of foreign currencies against the ruble and accelerated inflation. These trends forced auto producers to raise car prices, which affected auto sales.
The Russian auto market twice registered sales growth in March and November-December 2014 due to pent-up demand amid car price growth expectations. During the rest of the year, the Russian auto market was on a downside trend, with the maximum month-on-month fall of 26%
The government’s car scrapping program launched from September 2014 and offering car owners a bonus for disposing of their old cars and buying new vehicles helped slow down a decline in auto sales but failed to prompt the market’s recovery.