April's sales tally of 132,456 units marked a 10-year low in terms of sales for the month and translated to a 41.5 percent y/y decline in sales numbers, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB).
This was a tiny improvement on the 42.5 percent fall in March, but considering the government brought out a new loan subsidy scheme during the month that accounted for around 20,000 sales the headline figure still appears particularly dismal. YTD sales stood at 516,135 units, down 37.7 percent y/y.
The chairman of the AEB's vehicle manufacturers' committee said this is different from the Lehman-inspired crisis of 2009 as the Russian government has taken prompt action to offer stimulus such as the subsidized loan scheme to alleviate the declines. It is also true to say that it is different because the Russian economy is key to the current downturn, therefore a rapid recovery will be harder to generate in comparison with what happened in 2009-10.
Russia's leading brand Lada, as has been the case in recent month, posted a shallower decline than the rest of the market. This is because its range of cars have the lowest price points of the entire Russian car market and therefore experience a greater proportional benefit from the scrappage scheme the Russian government has been offering.
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