Russia’s car market shrank by more than 40 percent in March as carmakers struggled with the weaker currency, low consumer confidence and economic crisis in the country, according to the latest data.
Sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia dropped by 42.5 percent in March 2015 from a year earlier, amounting to 139,850 fewer cars being sold, figures released by the Association for European Businesses (AEB), a Russia-based business lobby group, showed Wednesday.
Commenting on the dire car market figures, Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee said they reflected Russia’s difficult economic backdrop.
“Total market performance in March is bad, of course, but not much worse than expected,” he said in a statement accompanying the data.
“What we are seeing now in the sales statistics is the long-predicted ‘hole’ in consumer demand, caused by the pull-ahead of car purchases at the end of last year, and compounded by heavy price inflation in the current year.”
Sounding a confident note, Schreiber added that “sooner or later, the situation will stabilize, but we are not at this point yet.”