Cars | Lada dreams of “technological sovereignty” in Russia, whose car trade is dying

Car sales in Russia plunged by 59 percent last year, and the pace accelerated in January. The only winners are Lada and the Chinese.

Car sales fell in January in Russia by about 63 percent compared to a year ago.

About 32,000 cars were sold in Russia last month, compared to 92,000 cars a year earlier. The news agency Reuters and the following chamber of commerce AEB reported on the drop.

In all last year, car sales in Russia plunged by approximately 59 percent. Almost 690,000 cars were sold.

The collapse is a direct result of the war started by Russia in Ukraine. As a result, sanctions have been imposed on the country, and collaborations and spare parts chains with European manufacturers have failed.

In addition car production in the country fell by 67 percent compared to the previous year. 450,000 passenger cars were manufactured in the country last year. It is the worst number since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

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At least for one Russian brand, the collapse has been somewhat beneficial: Ladas are selling well.

Manufacturer Avtovaz announced in January, that Lada dealers had sold almost 190,000 cars last year. The brand now has about a quarter of the market share in Russia. In addition, the Chinese brands Geely and Haval have greedily occupied the market vacuum.

Lada’s most popular model is the Lada Granta, whose sales doubled last year. Almost 100,000 cars were sold. Granta was also the country’s best-selling car in January.

“In 2023, we have to work in conditions where external challenges combine with the pressure imposed by sanctions. We set our goal to localize the production of key parts and components in order to achieve technological sovereignty for Lada”, described the CEO of Avtovaz Maxim Sokolov in the bulletin.

In the summer, Avtovaz even produced cars without airbags and ABS brakes, because it ran out of spare parts.

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Read more: Russia has been the EU’s largest supplier of diesel, but imports will end on Sunday

Read more: The number of passengers of Aeroflot, which is banned in the West, fell sharply last year

Read more: The most sanctions have been imposed against Russia – Why hasn’t the country’s economy collapsed?

Read more: The effects of the war on the Russian economy have been smaller than expected, Simola of the Bank of Finland assesses the reasons

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