Sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in Russia in May 2022 plummeted by 84% year on year to 24,268 vehicles, according to the latest data from the Association of European Businesses (AEB) that oversees the industry. This follows a 79% drop seen in April.
In January-May 2022 overall car sales were down by 52% y/y to 0.3mn units. As followed by bne IntelliNews, due to shortages of imported components, most Russian car manufacturing has effectively stalled and the car market is anticipated to contract by at least 50% this year.
Russia's largest carmaker AvtoVaz has suspended the assembly of its vehicles since the beginning of April and its sales were down by 84% to 6,000 units in May. Previously AvtoVaz was instructed to produce only local Lada models with no airbags, EPS and ABS systems, now officially permitted by the government.
French car maker Renault said it would transfer its 68% stake in Russia’s largest carmaker AvtoVaz to the state for a symbolic price of one ruble and a five-year option to get the asset back.
Renault was the Western carmaker with the largest Russian exposure and the AvtoVAZ-Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance controlled 35.5% of the car market in the country at the beginning of 2022. Billions of euros of equity injections and technological know-how from Renault allowed AvtoVaz to turn around from deep losses in 2018 and regain market leadership.