The Russian market of foreign cars grew by a record 26% in the first half of 2012. In the first six months of the year the sales volume this year exceeded the previous record sales of 2008 by 2%.
"Sales of new foreign cars in June settled an absolute record despite the fall of the Russian ruble to the US dollar and the grim prospects of the world financial crisis. Russia will soon officially enter the WTO, and the utilization duty will be introduced soon thereafter. All the terms and conditions are yet unknown but it is unlikely that car prices will go up considerably. We expect that the market will stabilize in the next several month at the level a little lower than in June. In the fourth quarter, unless the Euro collapses bringing down the oil prices, car sales will continue slowly growing. In the mid-term the ruble is expected to remain within the exchange rate corridor, and the economic policy of banks and the state will remain quite careful. Therefore, in 2013 the market will grow slower than in 2012," Alexey Tereschenko, Director of the Strategic Development Department of Atlant-M Holding said, commenting on the market changes.
VW has been ahead of competition in the first six months of 2012 in terms of sales dynamics, competing for the second place in the rating with Kia and Hyundai. In June 2012 Renault gained more than competition, and the leader of the 1st quarter (Nissan) took the 5th place. Overall, growth indicators have gone down in comparison with the first quarter of 2012; 17 of 20 brands, however, still demonstrated growth year on year. Sales of Daewoo, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have been going down, and Fiat dropped out of the rating.
The diagram below shows which top 20 brands showed the most growth in sales across Russia over the first six months of 2012 year on year (Holding brands have been highlighted in yellow). Two of the brands have been growing slower than the market; it must be noted, however, that in June Ford and Chevrolet had increased their sales volumes as compared to April-May. The premium brand segment in the Russian Federation showed 35% growth, which is more than on the market overall. Mercedes leads the rest of the brands. Lexus has left the top five brands (moving from the 4th to the 6th position), and was replaced by Land Rover.