The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has superimposed sanctions from Europe and the United States, which has had a very serious impact on Russia, especially in the automobile industry, where local car companies have stopped production and overseas car companies have withdrawn, making the Russian automobile industry ushered in a dark moment, while Chinese car companies have aimed at this opportunity. A number of car brands have been imported into Russia in reverse, which has become a major attraction in the Russian automobile market. New car sales in Russia in the first three quarters of this year were 761148, up 42.8 per cent from a year earlier, with new car sales rising 120.5 per cent to 116234 in September, according to PPC JSC.
In terms of specific brands, Lada Motors, a local car company, is still the largest carmaker in Russia, with cumulative sales of 242600 vehicles in the first three quarters, an increase of 96.0% over the same period last year and a market share of 38.0%. To boost sales, JustAuto recently began offering discounts on Granta models and said it would sell vehicles at cost (Lada has launched an online sales channel and sold at cost), according to the company.
Among the top 10 brands in the first three quarters, six were Chinese brands, followed by Chery, Harvard and Geely, with year-on-year increases of 312.1%, 267.1% and 302.3%, respectively. However, there is still a gap between these three brands and Lada cars, with cumulative sales of 218000 vehicles even less than that of the No. 1 Lada. However, ou Mengda and Xingtu in the top 10 are also sub-brands of Chery Holdings, with sales of 31100 and 29000 respectively. In addition, Changan sold 11267 vehicles in the Russian market, an increase of 197.2% over the same period last year. Tanks, FAW, Great Wall and Guangzhou Automobile also entered the top 20.
In the top 10 rankings, Kia is the only foreign car company in the top 10, but its cumulative sales did not exceed 10,000, down 83.5 per cent from a year earlier to 9377. In addition, the list includes Skoda, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Mazda, BMW and other companies also saw a sharp decline in sales.
In terms of specific models, the Granta, owned by Lada, has the highest sales, which is the only one with more than 100000 vehicles sold. In addition to the Granta, Lada also sold more than 50, 000 Niva vehicles, far higher than other models. Among these best-selling domestic brands, the most popular model among Russian consumers is the Chery Tiger 7 Pro, corresponding to the domestic Chirui Tiger 7 PLUS, with cumulative sales of 39007 vehicles in the first three quarters, an increase of 270.7 per cent over the same period last year. This was followed by Harvard's first love and Geely colorful, with sales of 36430 and 28452 respectively.
Before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia sold 1.667 million cars in 2021, a far cry from the peak of 2.79 million, but roughly retained the top 10 in the world in terms of scale. The market pattern is also relatively stable. Local brand Lada is the largest car manufacturer in Russia, while foreign car companies account for 60% of the Russian sales market. Renault, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Toyota and Nissan are important parts of Russian car sales.
In early 2022, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, and the Russian automobile industry fell into a quagmire. Since February 24, 2022, a number of car companies around the world have announced that they have withdrawn or suspended their operations in AvtoVAZ, starting with French automaker Renault, which announced the sale of its entire stake in Renault Russia Russia to the Moscow municipal government and its 67.69% stake in AvtoVAZ to NAMI, a Russian government-backed automobile research and development center. It is understood that Renault is the largest shareholder of AvtoVAZ, Russia's largest carmaker, and has an absolute controlling stake, accounting for 1/3 of Russia's total sales. Since then, foreign car companies, including Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Hyundai and other foreign car companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia, and Russian auto industry sales have continued to plummet, with sales of only 687000 vehicles in 2022, down 58.8% from the same period last year.
Compared with the launch of European and American car brands, Chinese car companies also seem to see development opportunities, one after another to export cars to Russia, or even brand production cars. In November 2022, the Moscow Man (Moskvich) car, which has been suspended for 20 years, began to be reproduced. According to Russian news agencies, Russian newspaper and other media reports and pictures, the five models of the "Muscovite" brand are very similar in appearance to the JAC brand Jiayue X4 (and its electric version), X7, Sihao X6 and A5 plus.
It should be noted that the relationship between Chinese car companies and Russian car companies is only a partner, not a substitute for withdrawing the assets of Russian foreign car companies. Therefore, the heavy burden of investment, development and production falls on the shoulders of Russian car companies and the government, but no matter from the market or policy-oriented point of view, the Russian market still has a development plan, for Chinese car companies, this is both an opportunity and a challenge.
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