Russia May 2016: Skoda and Ford escape overall gloom

Skoda Superb Russia May 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruBoth Skoda and Ford go against the grain in Russia in May, posting significant gains. 

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Russian new car sales are turning out to be a bottomless pit: down 15% year-on-year both in May to 107.665 units and year-to-date to 548.119. Sign of a consolidation of the market towards “trusted marques”, five of the Top 6 carmakers in May outperform the market and improve their share, starting with leader Lada down 10% to 20.597 units and 19.1%. The Granta manages to top the models ranking for the second month in a row (7.967), distancing the Hyundai Solaris (7.627) and Kia Rio (7.569) but remaining at #2 year-to-date. The Vesta may have plateaued already as it drops 22% on April to 3.752 units and 3.5% vs. 4% last month, but squeezes past the VW Polo to now rank #5 year-to-date. Similarly, the XRAY is down 26% on April to drop to #16. The Largus (-19%), 4×4 (-37%) and Kalina (-80%) all suffer greatly, while the Priora (-54%) falls out of the Top 25 for the very first time in its 12 yea-career: the nameplate launched in 2004 and topped the annual rankings in 2009 and 2012.

Nissan Terrano Russia May 2016Nissan Terrano sales are up 85% in May but Nissan is down 31%.  

Kia (-3%) is back above sister brand Hyundai to rank #2 brand with 11.997 sales and 11.1% share with the Rio continuing to do wonders at +1% in third place and despite the precipitous drops of the Sportage (-34%) and Cee’d (-19%). Hyundai for its part suffers at -22% with its poster child the Solaris down 28% but the Tucson posting a second consecutive month inside the Top 25 at #22. Renault limits its drop to -5% thanks to the never-ending success of the Duster, up another 21% in May to 4.151 units, the resistance of the Sandero (-3%) and despite the fall of the Logan (-29%). Toyota (-9%) also gains share while Volkswagen sees its deliveries actually gain 0.3% vs. May 2015. Add to this a 48% surge by its VW Vans division and you get a (rare) sunny picture for the German carmaker. Nissan (-31%) cannot compensate the freefall of the X-Trail (-58%) and Almera (-37%) with the excellent performances of the Qashqai (+24%) and Terrano (+85%), stepping inside the Top 25 for only the second time ever after April 2015.

Skoda Rapid Russia May 2016. Picture courtesy arenda-car.ruThe Skoda Rapid breaks into the Russian Top 10 for the first time in May. 

Skoda (+24%) and Ford (+26%) are the success stories of the month in Russia. The Czech brand manages to improve its market share by 47% on May 2015 to 4.4% thanks to the success of its sedan and despite the absence of competitive SUV. Two years after its initial launch, the Skoda Rapid enters the Russian Top 10 for the first time at #9 thanks to sales up 27% to 2.393, while the Octavia gains even more ground at +30% to rank #15 with 1.797 deliveries. Even though Ford doesn’t place any nameplate inside the Top 25 in May (the Focus was #23 in April), its success also stems from the successful launches of the Fiesta and Mondeo and a strong SUV lineup (Kuga, Ecosport and Explorer). Ford reaps the benefits of not having given up on Russia unlike General Motors who discontinued its mainstream Chevrolet models and the entire Opel brand last year. The only survivor is the Russian-born Niva, doing extremely well this month at +22% to #11.

Lifan X60 Russia May 2016. Picture courtesy zr.uLifan Russian sales are up 88% in May. 

Outside the Top 10, a dozen brands gain volume on May 2015, indicating the market may be on the verge of bottoming out and may soon get pulled by these high-achievers. Further good news: the list is varied and doesn’t limit itself to SUV specialist and premium fares as it is traditionally the case in crisis times. Lexus leads the pack with deliveries up a fantastic 34% to 2.212 while BMW is up 5% to 2.200. Volvo gains 13% on the back of the new XC90 (inside the Top 100 last month) and Jaguar is up 97% thanks to the XE. Among mass brands, Mazda gains 8% and Subaru is up 26%. Finally, one of the most striking evolutions in May is delivered by Chinese carmaker Lifan, embattled at home but up 88% in Russia to outsell almost 3-to-1 its direct Chinese follower Chery (+3%).

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One year ago: Russia May 2015: Hyundai Solaris outsells Lada Granta, Nissan X-Trail surges to #5

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Russia April 2016: Discover the Top 275 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Kia Sportage Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe SUV segment is the only one resisting the current Russian sales crisis. 

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After the Top 25 models and Top 53 All-brands, as is the tradition on BSCB we now delve into the full detail of Russian models sales for April. The addition of LCV nameplates see the GAZ Gazelle drop one spot on March to #6 overall with 3.6% share, well above its year-to-date level of 3% (#7) while the UAZ Commercial aka Bukhanka is up 6 spots on March and YTD to #19. The SUV segment is the only one resisting the current Russian sales crisis, with the Toyota RAV4 (#8), Kia Sportage (#20), Hyundai Tucson (#24) and Toyota Pado (#27) all ranking particularly high this month.

Mercedes GLS Russia April 2016The Mercedes GLS is up to #64 in Russia in April. 

Premium SUVs are faring even better: Lexus sees sales of its RX (#37), NX (#39) and LX (#59) SUVs reach new heights, while Mercedes has the GLE at #42, the GLC at #63 and the GLS up 33 spots on March to #64. The Chinese best-seller remains the Lifan X60 (#48) above the Lifan X50 (#53) selling 467 units in Russia this month vs. 537 at home in China

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Russia April 2016: Vesta & XRAY push Lada to best share in 4.5 years

Lada XRAY Russia April 2016The Lada XRAY is getting closer to the Russian Top 10. 

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The Russian market still hasn’t hit rock bottom, looking at April sales down a further 8.5% to just 121.272 with the year-to-date total now down 15% to 440.583. Both March, April and year-to-date scores are the lowest in a decade in Russia. Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee adds: “Under these circumstances, the decision of the Russian government to extend market stimulation measures is highly welcome and appropriate, intended to help the market to get through what is probably the toughest period in its recent history”. Thanks to a renewed lineup (see further down), home-grown carmaker Lada goes against the grain with an 8% year-on-year improvement to 24.648 sales and 20.3% share. After slumping to an all-time low 13% share in December 2014, this is Lada’s first time above 20% at home since February 2014 (20.2%), and its best share since October 2011 (20.5%) when it sold 49.270 units in a then much stronger market.

Ford Focus Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Focus helps Ford back up 39% this month in Russia. 

Below, both Hyundai (10.1%) and Kia (10%) fall slightly faster than the market at -11% and -13% respectively, with Renault faring better in fourth place at -5% to 8% share. Toyota manages to gain 15% to get back to the 5th position it holds year-to-date, with Skoda (+9%), GAZ (+12%) and UAZ (+2%) the other Top 10 manufacturers to improve year-on-year. Outside, Ford delivers an outstanding 39% growth at #11, Lifan is up 67% to #19 and Volvo up 52% to #24. Notice also Subaru (+17%), BMW (+16%), Lexus (+6%) and Suzuki (+3%) in positive. Reversely, recently relaunched low-cost brand Datsun is crumbling apart at -68% to just 793 units and 0.7% share. Mitsubishi (-59%), Chevrolet (-39%) and Nissan (-32%) also suffer.

Lada Vesta Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada Vesta now holds 4% of the Russian market. 

Model-wise, the Lada Ganta reclaims a pole position that used to be firmly its own thanks to sales down just 5% to 9.888 vs. 8.193 (-9%) for the Hyundai Solaris, only the third time in the past 10 months that the Granta is the Russian best-seller. The Solaris however historically remains the year-to-date top seller for now with 29.627 units (-12%) vs. 28.871 (-30%) for the Granta. The all-new Vesta continues to climb albeit at a much slower pace and remains at #4: up 5% on March to 4.821 sales and 4% share this month. It may have hit is cruise volume as its price is double that of the Granta.

Toyota RAV4 Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruToyota RAV4 sales are up 42% in Russia in April. 

Its SUV counterpart the XRAY is up 44% and 10 spots on last month to #13 and 2.184 units, now outselling the Largus (-30%), Kalina (-42%), 4×4 (-41%) and Priora (-36%). The Toyota RAV4 (+42%), Skoda Octavia (+24%), Renault Sandero (+16%), VW Polo (+12%), Skoda Rapid (+6%) and Toyota Camry (+3%) all post year-on-year gains with the new Hyundai Tucson making its very first appearance inside the Top 25 at #22 and the Ford Focus returning into it for only the second time in the past 16 months along with last October (#23).

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Previous month: Russia March 2016: Hyundai Solaris sovereign, Vesta cannibalises Granta

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Russia March 2016: Discover the Top 280 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Ford Focus Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Focus leads Ford’s Russian “renaissance” 

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After the Top 25 models and Top 50 All-brands, as is the tradition on BSCB we can now share the complete Russian models ranking for March. The best-selling LCVs land at #5 (GAZ Gazelle) and #25 (UAZ Bukhanka) and strong performers this month include the Ford Focus (#29), Ford Fiesta (#33), Kia Optima (#34), Hyundai Elantra (#35), Lexus RX (#45) and NX (#46). Among recent launches, the Hyundai Tucson is back up 6 spots on February to #43, the Mercedes GLE is down 6 to #44, the Mercedes GLC down 5 to #50 and the Suzuki Vitara down 15 to #65. The Toyota Corolla is back on track after being immobilised earlier this year (#61) and the Audi A3 gains a stunning 22 spots on last month to land at #73. We welcome the Mercedes GLS directly at #97 with 212 sales.

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Russia March 2016: Hyundai Solaris sovereign, Vesta cannibalises Granta

Lada Vesta Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada Vesta has wrecked havoc in the Russian models charts.

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After -29% in January and -13 in February, the Russian new car market continue to slow down its fall at -10% in March to 125.917 units, partly because the volumes of a year ago were already at historical lows: March 2015 was down 42%. At 319.092 registrations, the year-to-date total over the first quarter is down a paltry 17% on the same period in 2015 which was already down 38% on 2014. Lada (-19%) and Hyundai (-21%) fall at double the rate of the market, resulting in much reduced market shares of 17.7% and 8.7% respectively, while Kia is actually up 2% to 9.8%. These evolutions translate in very different ways in the models ranking as we’ll see below. Inside the Top 10, only Toyota (-15%) lose share while Skoda (+6%), GAZ (+11%) and UAZ (+50%) improve.

Ford Fiesta Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe recent Fiesta launch helps boost Ford Russian sales up 120% this month. 

But the most impressive surge is delivered by Ford boosted by strong performances of the Kuga and Fiesta as we saw in the February detail and more than doubling its volume year-on-year at 4.071 units, up 120% to 11th place. Further down and in order of ranking, BMW (+23%), Lifan (+63%), Chery (+34%), Suzuki (+36%) and Cadillac (+241%) deliver strong gains while on the other end of the scale Mazda (-34%), Mitsubishi (-45%), Datsun (-51%) and Ssangyong (-61%) crumble down. It’s a particularly disappointing result for the rebirth of the Datsun brand that had started all guns blazing a little over a year ago.

Hyundai Solaris Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy carscope.ruThe Hyundai Solaris now has a solid grip on the year-to-date Russian models pole position.

Once again it’s the models ranking that is showing the greatest level of movement as the new Lada Vesta continues to climb up the ladder but is cannibalising the Granta in the process. The winners so far are the consistently solid Koreans compact sedans: the Hyundai Solaris is frankly in the lead, going with the market at -11% to 7.678 sales and the Kia Rio at #2 despite sales down 19% to 5.832. The Granta is in freefall at -58% to just 5.181 units while the Vesta is up 55% on its February score to 4.595 sales in 4th place overall.

In March, the year-on-year volume loss endured by the Granta (7.257) and Priora (1.002) which the Vesta officially replaces, adds up to 8.259 units, far from being compensated by the incremental Vesta sales (4.595). The big unknown factor here is whether the Vesta has the volume potential to actually replace the Granta in the Russian pole position. This isn’t a done deal and would actually indicate a very significant shift in purchasing habits from the Russian population as the Vesta is twice as expensive as the Granta. If not, we may be witnessing the start of an era of Korean domination in the models sales charts, a historical first in Russia.

Lada XRAY Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruFirst Top 25 ranking at home for the all-new Lada XRAY. Picture zr.ru 

Below, and impressive 6 nameplates inside the Top 12 deliver double-digit gains: the Renault Duster (+35%), VW Polo (+40%), Chevrolet Niva (+24%), Toyota RAV4 (+18%), Renault Sandero (+25%) and Kia Cee’d (+85%) all show impressive strength, as does the UAZ Patriot up 58% to #17. Finally the second all-new Lada launch in the past 6 months, the XRAY crossover, breaks into the Top 25 for its 2nd month in market, up from #32 in February to #23 with 1.518 sales and 1.2% market share in March. This score should improve steadily over the coming months as production ramps up, and it will be interesting to see to which degree it cannibalises the brand’s other SUV offer, the veteran Lada 4×4. For now, the 4×4 year-on-year loss (709 units or -18%) is inferior to the incremental sales the XRAY is bringing (1.518): so far so good.

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Russia February 2016: Discover the Top 275 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Lada X-Ray Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruFirst appearance of the Lada X-Ray in the Russian sales charts. 

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After the Top 20 unveiled a couple of weeks ago, we can now delve into the detail of the Russian models ranking for February. The main news this month is the arrival of the Lada X-Ray, the brand’s first SUV since the 4×4 (aka Niva) was launched in… 1977. The X-Ray lands directly at #32 in February but should fast climb up the ladder over the coming months. The Mercedes GLE resists at a strong 38th position, with both the GLA and GLC also ranking within the Top 45 this month while the Hyundai Tucson (#49) and Suzuki Vitara (#50) are also inside the Top 50. The Geely Emgrand EC7 becomes the best-selling Chinese nameplate (#47), overtaking the Lifan X60 (#54) and X50 (#59).

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One year ago: Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

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Russia February 2016: Hyundai Solaris leads YTD, market down 13%

Lada Vesta Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe arrival of the Lada Vesta has further destabilised the top of the Russian models charts.

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Partly due to an already very low base a year ago, Russian new car sales are down ‘just’ 13% year-on-year in February to 111.145 registrations, its smallest decline in 14 months. This brings the year-to-date total to 193.072 units, down 21% on the same period in 2015. Local manufacturer Lada continues to lose share at -19% to 19.035 sales and 17.1% whereas Kia gains some at -9% and 11.492 units above Hyundai, down 21% at 10.510. Renault (-3%), Toyota (+11%), Volkswagen (-7%), Ford up a spectacular 144%, GAZ (+10%) and UAZ (+37%) are the other Top 15 manufacturers improving their market share this month. Further down, Lexus (+83%), Lifan (+45%), Suzuki (+48%) and Chery (+10%) impress.

Ford Explorer Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruFord sales are up 144% in a market down 13%. Picture zr.ru 

The models ranking has now entered the murky waters we predicted at the end of last year: the “transition” between Lada Granta and Vesta. The inverted commas are mandatory here, because the Vesta does not replace the Granta in the Lada range, but the Priora. Rather, Lada is hoping the much more modern (and expensive/profitable) Vesta will replace the much cheaper Granta in the hearts of Russian consumers. A hard task given the Vesta is priced at double the Granta: from 570k Rubles / US$8.050 vs. 312k Rub ($4.400) for the Granta… A logical result of the Vesta launch, which will soon be followed by the small crossover X-RAY, is that it vacuums the entire marketing attention of the brand: as the Vesta continues to progress (#7 and 2.955 sales this month), the Granta drops 40% year-on-year to just 6.335 units, its lowest monthly result in almost four years.

Toyota RAV4 Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Toyota RAV4 is up 122% to 6th place overall. Picture zr.ru 

Add to this the continuously stupefying health of the two Korean compact sedans: the Hyundai Solaris (+2%) and Kia Rio (+16%) managing to gain volume year-on-year in this depressed context, and we have a first this month in Russia. At 13.756 units vs. 13.712 for the Lada Granta, the Hyundai Solaris takes the year-to-date lead in the country for the first time. In fact, it is the first time a foreign model (although manufactured locally) is #1 in a YTD Russian ranking since the Lada brand was created in 1970. Given the relative popularity of the Moskvitch brand from 1947 onwards, this could be the first time since World War II that a foreign nameplate tops the YTD Russian sales charts. No less. It is the 8th time the Solaris ranks #1 monthly (all in the past 14 months) and the 6th time in the past 8 months. A logical crowing then, that could transformed into a historical annual top spot easier than previously though if the Granta really suffers from the arrival of the Vesta as this month’s data seems to indicate.

Toyota Land Cruiser Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Toyota Land Cruiser 200 sees its facelift boost its sales up 257%.

In fact, the Lada Granta (-40%), 4×4 (-29%) and Largus (-31%) are the only three nameplates in the Top 11 to lose ground on their February 2015 score, with all the other posting year-on-year gains: the Renault Duster flies up 42% to #4, the VW Polo is up 24% to #5, the Toyota RAV4 up 122% to #6 and the Chevrolet Niva and Renault Sandero are both up a much more modest 1%. Notice also the Nissan X-Trail up 237% on the previous gen at #16, the UAZ Patriot up 59% to #22, Toyota Land Cruiser 200 up 257% and the Mitsubishi Outlander up 133%. Once again, only the SUV segment sees spectacular year-on-year gains.

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Previous month: Russia January 2016: Market down 29%, Lada Vesta in Top 10

One year ago: Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

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Russia January 2016: Discover the Top 267 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Mercedes GLC Russia January 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Mercedes GLC leaps up into the Russian Top 40 in January. 

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As is the tradition on BSCB, after detailing the Russian brands ranking and the Top 25 models, we now go through the full models ranking. As we had already observed over the past 12 months, the SUV segment is the only one to escape the deep crisis new car sales are going through in Russia. The Nissan Terrano misses out on a Top 25 ranking for just 13 units (#27), while of the all-new Hyundai Tucson the gap is a mere 14 sales (#28). The Ford Kuga is up to #34, and the three smallest Mercedes SUVs all surge this month: the Mercedes GLC jumps from #72 in December to #36, the GLA from #114 to #37 and the GLE from #57 to #38.

BMW X4 Russia January 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe BMW X4 is up to #69. Picture courtesy zr.ru 

The Lifan X50 (#44 with 487 sales) is getting ever closer to becoming the best-selling Chinese nameplate in China, now only trailing the Lifan X60 (#41) by 82 units. The all-new Suzuki Vitara is up 17 ranks on last month to #45, the BMW X4 up 23 to #69, the Nissan Pathfinder up 94 to #84, the Nissan Murano up 54 to #115 and th Mini Countryman up 60 to #147. This is a great environment in which to launch the Lada X-Ray in the coming months.

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One year ago: Russia January 2015: Hyundai Solaris hits #1 in market down 24%

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Russia January 2016: Market down 29%, Lada Vesta in Top 10

Lada Vesta Russia January 2016The Lada Vesta surges to 9th place overall in Russia this month. 

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The new car market crisis is deepening in Russia, with January down a further 29% year-on-year to just 81.849 registrations, the first time in six years Russian new car sales fall below 100.000 monthly units. In fact, it is only the third time in the past decade that the market sinks to five-digit figures, along with January 2010 (74.086 units) and February 2010 (91.922). Thanks to the gearing up of the Vesta adding 1.643 units to the mix (#9), local manufacturer Lada fares better than its home market, limiting its fall to -11% at 15.577 deliveries and 19% share: way above its 2015 level of 16.8%. Kia gains share at 11.1% thanks to sales down “just” 20% as does Toyota at 7.4% (-15%) but Hyundai (-37%), Renault (-43%) and Nissan (-51%) implode.

Porsche Macan Russia January 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruCrisis? What crisis? Porsche sales are up 60% in Russia this month.

It’s not all bad news though, especially for luxury brands as the weak ruble has made top-end models less expensive in Russia and even more attractive to wealthy Russians: Porsche is up 60%, Lexus up 57% and Mercedes 1%. The Chinese are also back in force with Lifan up a spectacular 63% to 1.5% share vs. 0.9% in 2015, Geely up 23% and Chery up 1%. Notice also GAZ up 1% while Ford and Suzuki both see their volumes surge by a stunning 25% year-on-year. At the other end of the scale, Chevrolet is down 61%, Jeep down 63%, Datsun down 66%, Ssangyong down 79% and Volvo down 94%. Great Wall and JAC did not sell a single car in Russia this month and if Opel also didn’t, that’s because the brand was discontinued in the country.

Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Russia January 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Toyota Land Cruiser 200 is up 265% on January 2015.

Small volumes send the models ranking into a spin. The podium remains unchanged on FY 2015, but for once the Lada Granta (-5%) is a lot stronger than the Hyundai Solaris (-32%) and Kia Rio (-31%) despite the focus on the Vesta arrival. The Toyota RAV4 gains a sparkly 38% to land in 4th place, the nameplate’s best-ever Russian ranking. Same story for the Kia Sportage up 56% to a record 6th position, both models outselling the segment’s traditional leader the Renault Duster, still gaining share thanks to sales down 13% only. The Lada Largus is up 9% to #8, the Skoda Rapid (-20%) leaps to #11, the Kia Cee’d (-8%) is up to #15 and the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 takes full advantage of its facelift with sales up 4-fold year-on-year to #21 and 1.014 deliveries.

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One year ago: Russia January 2015: Hyundai Solaris hits #1 in market down 24%

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Russia Full Year 2015: Solaris teases Granta in market down 36%

Hyundai Solaris Russia 2015. Picture courtesy YoutubeThe Hyundai Solaris ends the year 4.314 sales below the Lada Granta.

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A lot of elements combined to make 2015 one of the worst years for Russian car sales in the past two decades. The Russian economy is going through its worst recession since 1998, partly triggered by the fall in commodities prices such as petrol and Ukraine crisis-related economic sanctions imposed to the country. The ruble crumbled down 23% against the dollar in the past year, inflation rose up to double-digits, household purchasing power imploded. The Russian new car market has only seen two months of growth in the past 35 and posted its steepest year-on-year declines in the last two months of the year at -43% in November and -47% in December. As a result, annual sales stumble down 36% to just 1.601.216 units to return to its recession-plagued 2009 level (1.465.762).

Lada Vesta Russia 2015Lada is counting on the Vesta (above) and XRAY to stay afloat at home in 2016.

Lada manages to salvage market share by falling slightly slower than the market at -31% to 269.096 units, but the winners of 2015 are Korean: Kia is down just 16% to 163.500 and 10.2% share vs. 7.9% in 2014 and Hyundai does even better at -10% to 161.201 and 10% vs. 7.2% a year ago. Below, Renault (-38%), Toyota (-39%), Nissan (-44%) and Volkswagen (-39%) all lose market share. General Motors has stopped sales of mainstream Chevrolet models (-60%) and retired Opel (-74%) from the market altogether.

Ssangyong Actyon Russia 2015. Picture courtesy auto-motor-und-sport.deSsangYong sales are down a devastating 79% in Russia in 2015.

A significant number of carmakers see their Russian sales all but disappear this year: Subaru (-61%), Suzuki (-67%), Citroen (-72%), Chery (-73%), Peugeot (-73%), Jeep (-75%), Honda (-78%) and SsangYong (-79%) lose over half of their volume in the space of one single year. Among the Chinese, Lifan (-36%) and Geely (-38%) follow the market to become the only two significant players still in activity and the only ones remaining in the Top 30.

Porsche Macan Russia 2015. Picture courtesy of autobild.dePorsche sales ignored the recession: up 12% year-on-year.

All is not doom and gloom in the brands ranking as some manufacturers benefit from a sales transfer towards SUV and luxury fares: UAZ is down just 2% to #11 and gains one percentage point share to 3%, with Mercedes (-15%), BMW (-20%) and Audi (-25%) also outpacing the market. Lexus for its part actually improves at +6% thanks to the NX, as does Porsche (+12%) thanks to the Macan. Datsun ranks at a very satisfying 15th place for its first full year in market but fell 54% in December. Dongfeng (#40) is the only new carmaker launching in 2015.

Kia Rio Russia 2015The Kia Rio sells just under 100.000 units in a depressed Russian market.

In 45 years of Russian car sales records, never before had a foreign nameplate been so close to the annual best-seller title. The Lada Granta sees its advantage over Hyundai Solaris thaw from 38.166 sales in 2014 to a meagre 4.314 this year. In November 2014, the Kia Rio sent shockwaves through the Russian market and became the first foreign model to top monthly Russian sales since the first Lada launched in 1970. The past 12 months have seen this revolution unfold: the Hyundai Solaris took charge of the Russian charts no less than 7 times in 2015, including 5 straight months from July to November. If the Granta “miraculously” reclaims the lead in December to secure its third annual win with 120.182 sales, the crowning of either the Solaris (115.868) or the Rio (97.097) in 2016 seems inevitable.

UAZ Patriot Russia 2015Excellent result for the UAZ Patriot at #23.

For the first time since the seventies, Lada only places one nameplate among the Top 7 best-sellers: the Largus (-40%) and Kalina (-45%) are relegated to #8 and #9 respectively while the venerable 4×4 (aka Niva) is up 3 spots to #10 thanks to sales down just 18%. Even Renault does better with the Duster (#6) and Logan (#7). The GAZ Gazelle (-28%) shoots up 3 spots to #4, the VW Polo (-23%) is up four to #4, the Rapid becomes Skoda’s best-seller thanks to 24.547 sales for its first full year in market, the Datsun on-DO improves to #18, the venerable UAZ Bukhanka is up 14 ranks to #19 thanks to incredibly stable sales at 21.408 and the UAZ Patriot is down just 5% to land at a best-ever #23.

Datsun mi-DO Russia 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Datsun mi-DO is the best-selling all-new nameplate in Russia in 2015. Picture zr.ru

Further down, let’s single out the Lexus NX shooting up 211 spots to a shining 36th place (10.328 sales), the Lifan X60 remaining the best-selling Chinese nameplate in Russia and the only one in the Top 60 at #37 and despite sales down 51%, the Datsun mi-DO snapping the title of most popular all-new nameplate at #38 (8.165 sales) above the Ford Fiesta (#57), Lifan X50 (#101), Lada Vesta (#104), Mercedes GLE (#105) and Mercedes GLC (#125). Flying in the face of the current depressed economic context, the BMW X5 is up 50% to #53, the Mercedes C-Class is up 2% to #60, the Mercedes S-Class also up 2% to #69, the Mercedes GLA up 10% to #80 and the Audi Q7 up 52% to #87.

Previous post: Russia November 2015: Now with Top 306 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous month: Russia November 2015: Hyundai Solaris #1, Lada Vesta lands in Top 20

Previous year: Russia Full Year 2014: Lada Granta survives foreign push

Two years ago: Russia Full Year 2013: Lada Granta celebrates first year at #1

Full Year 2015 Top 60 All-brands and Top 430 All-models vs. Full 2014 figures below.

Full December 2015 Top 54 All-brands and Top 309 All-models below.

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