Russian car market continued to contract in July, with the sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) down by 2.4% to 0.14mn units. In the seven months of 2019 the sales also declined by 2.4% to 0.97mn vehicles, according to the data of AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee (AEB AMC).
This made the fourth month in a row that Russian car sales contracted, after extensive state support contributed to the recovery of the passenger car and LCV market in 2017-2018.
"Seven months into 2019, we find the market -2.4% down, both month-on-month and year-on-year. Market expectations till the end of the year are fundamentally no better," deputy chairman of AEB Lars Himmer commented.
Previously in June AEB de-facto revised the car market outlook from 3.6% growth to best-case-scenario zero growth, as "even with a certain trend improvement in the second half, it would appear that the best outcome the market can hope for is to equalize last year’s sales result."
Market participants already warned that declining consumer confidence and incomes will drive Russian passenger and LCV sales to decline by 3-10% in 2019, Reuters reported on June 24 citing the survey of industry unions.
Moreover, reports also claimed that Russian car market could be shrinking faster than the industry data suggests, with a real decline in car sales at 18% in May 2019 if accounted only for actual sales by the car dealers.