Car sales

Vehicles Traveling on City Road at Night, at Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo: PEXELS / ALEKSANDR EVSTAFEV

New car sales in Russia down 83.5% in May

Only 24 268 cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in Russia in May, a sank by 83.5%, said the European Businesses Association in Moscow

Car sales

Vehicles Traveling on City Road at Night, at Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo: PEXELS / ALEKSANDR EVSTAFEV

New car sales in Russia sank by 83.5% year-on-year in May, industry data showed on Monday, as the effects of unprecedented Western sanctions hit the country’s economy and consumers.

Only 24 268 cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in Russia in May, said the Association of European Businesses in Moscow.

The collapse is sales in May came after a 78.5% drop in April.

Sales of the country’s most popular and affordable brand, Lada, whose AvtoVAZ manufacturer was majority-owned by the Nissan-Renault group, fell 84% to 6 000 units year-on-year.

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NEW CAR SALES IN RUSSIA

The West slapped Russia with debilitating sanctions after the start of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine in February.

In May, Renault handed over its local assets to the Russian government, marking the first major nationalisation since the onset of sanctions. Renault controlled 68% of AvtoVAZ but was under pressure to pull out of the country.

Numerous carmakers have stopped sales of their cars or parts to Russia including Audi, Honda, Jaguar and Porsche.

Makes that have halted Russian production include BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Volvo.

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RUSSIA’S INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT

Last week the statistics service said the country’s industrial output shrank for the first time since the start of the military campaign, falling by 1.6% in April compared to the same period last year.

Car production was hit particularly hard, falling by 85.4% year-on-year.

Faced with a shortage of imported parts in factories, authorities eased safety and emission standards for locally produced cars in May — including dropping the requirement for airbags.

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© Agence France-Presse