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VELIKY NOVGOROD, May 14. /TASS/. Sales of new cars in Russia will decline by one third in 2015, president of KIA Motors Rus, Kim Sung-Hwan told TASS on Thursday.
According to him, there is no concrete forecast on the market now.
He said the Association of European Businesses’ (AEB) forecast for sales of cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in 2015 is 1.89 mln vehicles, which means a 24.2% decline year-on-year.
"I think this figure will be about 30%,"- he said.
According to Kim Sung-Hwan, in January-April, sales of new cars and LCVs fell 37.7% in comparison with the same period of 2014.
AEB traditionally give its forecast in the beginning of the year with an option to revise it later following the results of the first six months. AEB has not revised its forecast for 2015 yet.
According to the Industry and Trade Ministry, the car market in Russia could have dropped 50% but the government provided support to the market. As a result the market will drop onlt about 24% year-on-year to 1.98 mln vehicles for all types of transport vehicles.
PWC consulting agency forecasts that in 2015 Russia’s car market will decline 25%-35% to 1.5 mln -1.7 mln cars.
Kia Motors Rus, the producer of South Korea’s Kia and Hyundai cars, does not plan to slow down production this year at its facilities in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.
According to Kim Sung-Hwan, the crisis is a good chance for South Korean carmakers working in Russia. He said the advantage of his company is in active sales policy. Such a behavior "wakes a special feeling among clients", he said.
Kim Sung-Hwan said he finds the support the government is providing to the national car market "invaluable".
According to him, the car scrappage program and the program of refinancing of the interests rate offer a strong support to the development of the car industry. Both of these programs are quite effective, he added.
"Kia is a younger than European or American companies, but every time it comes to the crisis, we manage to end up better than they do. The crisis only increases our share /in Russia /", he said.
Kia and Hyundai cars are in top five of the bestselling brands in Russia.
According to Kia Motors Rus, more than 95% of the cars the company sell in Russia are assembled at Russian plants.