Passenger car sales increased by 85% year-on-year in February

Passenger car sales increased by 85% year-on-year in February

Demand for passenger cars intensified in February: sales exceeded 100 thousand, increasing by 85% year-on-year and returning to the level of summer 2023. Market participants believe that sales were accelerated by the availability of discounts and promotions while expanding the supply of models available for purchase in the Russian Federation. Also, analysts note, customers were in a hurry to buy a car against the backdrop of an impending increase in the cost of importing cars from the EAEU countries.

In February, 103.95 thousand new passenger cars were sold in the Russian Federation, Avtostat calculated based on data from JSC PPK (a joint venture of Autostat and Electronic Passport). This is 85.1% more than in February 2023, and 29.5% higher than the January result. Sales are traditionally lower in January due to the long holidays.

At the end of two months, the passenger car market grew by 81.7%, to 184.2 thousand units, according to Autostat data.

The February result turned out to be quite high for the current car market: sales of new cars after the start of the crisis gradually increased throughout 2023, and the peak was October (112.3 thousand cars), after which demand began to weaken, showing only the traditional pre-New Year peak in December (119 .5 thousand pieces). The February result is close to August 2023, when 109.7 thousand new passenger cars were sold, and slightly higher than the July result (95.7 thousand).

Lada remains the market leader in February with a share of 28% (versus more than 38% a year earlier). Sales of the brand increased by 33%, to 28.7 thousand units. AvtoVAZ, using data from its own dealers, estimated sales slightly lower - 27.9 thousand (an increase of 19%).

Geely became the best seller among foreign cars for the first time, states Autostat. The brand increased sales by 3.8 times, to 12.3 thousand units.

The remaining places in the top 5 are also occupied by Chinese brands. Thus, Haval increased sales by 2.4 times, to almost 12 thousand cars, Chery - by 45%, to 9.9 thousand units, Changan - by 12.7 times, to almost 6 thousand cars. The latter brand showed the highest growth due to a low base. In the model rating, however, the leader among foreign cars will remain Haval Jolion (5 thousand cars), and the most popular car on the market is AvtoVAZ’s most budget model Lada Granta (13.1 thousand units).

Maxim Sokolovhead of AvtoVAZ, March 4

“We see a very active expansion of Chinese cars. The increase in recycling collection, which was in the middle of last year, did not cool the ardor, did not cool the situation.”

Automotive analyst Vladimir Bespalov states that, based on the capacity of the Russian market, current sales volumes are not so high: “This is a good result for February, as it is not the highest season, but in general it is absolutely normal for a recovering market.” At the same time, the analyst notes, sales dynamics could be influenced by the fact that from April 1 it will become more expensive to transport cars through parallel imports (see “Kommersant” dated February 14). In addition, the analyst concludes, there is some overstocking of dealer warehouses, as well as promotions and discounts, including from official distributors.

Certain discounts and offers apply to many brands - for example, discounts for credit, trade-in of an old car, as well as support from importers, confirms Avilon Marketing Director Andrey Kamensky. “There are also promotions for buying a car without a loan or trade-in,” he adds, citing the Tank 500 as an example. In the current conditions, there is every chance that sales growth will continue in March, says Andrei Kamensky, pointing to an increase in the volume of offers .

The head of the Fresh dealership, Evgeny Zhitnukhin, also talks about expanding the offer due to new products, citing the example of Solaris, which began to be produced at the ex-Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg (see “Kommersant” dated February 22).

Avtodom CEO Andrei Olkhovsky believes that sales growth was mainly influenced by emotional factors. “The state was a trend maker - at the beginning of the year, long-awaited decisions were announced to limit offshore customs clearance in the EAEU countries, and this gave a colossal impetus. Another factor is some fears of people, which are based on expectations of an increase in the value of currencies after the March elections, although, for the sake of objectivity, there are no obvious prerequisites for this,” he explains. At the same time, sales will be even higher in March, Mr. Olkhovsky believes. He cites both the traditionally busier season and existing expectations of rising car prices.

Olga Nikitina

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