Russia’s automobile market slump extended into November, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Tuesday, with sales of new cars down 61.6% year-on-year, as the struggling sector feels the strain of sanctions and subdued demand.
Sales have dived since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February, with sanctions hindering access to parts and several foreign producers suspending operations in the country.
The AEB said 46,403 vehicles were sold during November, compared with more than 120,000 vehicles sold in the same month of 2021. So far this year, car sales are down 60.9%, the AEB said.
As sanctions squeeze Russia’s ability to keep vital industries running, Moscow has sent India a list of more than 500 products for potential delivery including parts for cars, aircraft and trains.
Analysts have suggested that limited demand across the economy, amid falling living standards and elevated inflation, have also dealt a blow to the sector.
Russia last month launched production of the revived, Soviet-era Moskvich car brand at a plant near Moscow given up by French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA), which Russian officials sought promote as a sign of recovery.
But the Moskvich’s new, modern Chinese design barely resembles the decades-old classic. Sources told Reuters that JAC’s design, engineering and platform were being used, with parts being delivered from China, and the vehicles shown at the launch displayed numerous JAC stickers bearing part codes.