Russia: car sales collapse by -78.5% in April over one year due to sanctions

Sales of new cars continued to tumble in Russia in April, falling 78.5% year on year, under the effect of high inflation and heavy Western sanctions against Moscow for its offensive in Ukraine.

Sales of new cars continued to tumble in Russia in April, falling 78.5% year on year, under the effect of high inflation and heavy Western sanctions against Moscow for its offensive in Ukraine.

In April, 32,706 new light vehicles were sold, according to figures published by the Association of European Businesses (AEB), which brings together manufacturers in the sector.

Compared to March, the first month of the collapse, this is a drop of 40%.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, the AEB stopped commenting on the figures published every month.

Western sanctions explain the fall

Western countries have imposed heavy sanctions on this sector, in particular banning the export of spare parts to Russia.

Many producers have also announced that they will stop selling components or cars to Russia, like Audi, Honda, Jaguar or Porsche. Others have announced the cessation of production, such as Renault, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Volkswagen or Volvo.

Inflation and the instability of the ruble have also reduced the possibilities for Russians to buy imported products, especially cars.

Russia’s top car producer, Avtovaz (Renault-Nissan group), sent its employees on paid leave for three weeks in April, halting most of its production.

The announced sanctions sound the death knell for the massive investments made by the world’s major automakers in Russia during a period of growth in the 2000s.

In May, Russia published a list of around 100 categories of goods that are allowed to be imported without the agreement of intellectual property owners in order to circumvent the restrictions.

Among these products, we find in particular the major car brands and spare parts.

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