The Kia Rio outsold the Lada Granta to rank #1 in November.
* See the Top 25 best-selling models and Top 63 All-brands by clicking on the title *
Economic sanctions on the back of the Ukraine situation coupled with rising inflation have resulted in a second consecutive year in negative for the Russian new car market, down 10% in 2014 to 2,491,404 registrations and hitting its lowest level since 2010 (1.91 million units). Scrappage schemes helped stabilised the market which returned to year-on-year growth in December. 2015 may not be as gloomy as most analysts predict. Lada logically dominates the brands ranking as it has been the case in Russia since 1970, however its sales dropped faster than the market at -15% to 387,307 units, resulting in the brand’s lowest-ever annual market share at home: 15.5%. Kia (-1%) overtakes Renault (-7%) to claim the second spot overall with 195,691 units, Hyundai (-1%) remains 4th while Nissan (+11%) is up 3 spots to #5, Toyota (+5%) is up two to #6 and Mitsubishi (+2%) is up 3 to #10. Volkswagen (-18%), Opel (-20%), Chevrolet (-28%) and Ford (-38%) crash down. In the premium race, Mercedes (+11%) is now 15,000 units above BMW (-18%) and Audi (-6%).
No less than 6 new manufacturers launched in Russia in 2014 despite the depressed context. Winner by far is Datsun, relaunched as Renault-Nissan’s low-cost brand (Dacia does not exist in Russia). While it had mixed results in India, Datsun hits the bull’s eye in Russia, securing 11,414 sales in just four months and placing its sole model the on-DO inside the December Top 10. Absolute success for the brand so far. The other newcomers are far below, led by ChangAn at #45 with 1,144 sales ahead of Acura (1,106), Brilliance (955), JAC (424) and Alfa Romeo making a discreet return in Russia with just 96 units sold this year.
This brings the number of Chinese manufacturers present in Russia to 12, but despite a late return to form in December, it has been a tough year for China. Lifan leads the charge once again, up 3 spots on 2013 to #21 in spite of sales down 14% to 23,619 units. Geely (-31%) follows at #28 just above Chery (-9%) while Great Wall (-25%) is distanced at #32. FAW (-55%) at #44, BAW (-28%) at #47 and Haima (+152%) at #48 lodge minuscule sales figures.
In the models ranking, the Lada Granta remains the best-seller for the second year in a row, roughly following the market at -8% to 152,810 sales and 6.1% share despite the addition of a liftback variant. In a 45-year first, it was outsold by the Kia Rio in November, the first time a foreign model ranks #1 in Russia since the Lada brand was created in the late sixties. A sign of things to come? The Rio finishes the year at #3 like in 2013 with sales up 4% to 3.8% share, below the Hyundai Solaris up 1% to 4.6% share. With the Datsun on-DO being a cheaper rebadged Granta and new versions of the Solaris and Rio hitting Russian dealerships in 2015, the Granta might have a few reasons to fear for its pole position this year…
Below the Renault Duster at #4 again, the Lada Kalina (-3%) and Largus both improve their rankings to #5 and #6, while the Renault Logan takes full advantage of its new generation to slice its 2013 ranking in two to 7th place with sales up 19%. Notice also the Nissan Almera cracking the annual Top 10 for its first full year of sales, the Skoda Octavia up 158% to #15, the Hyundai ix35 up 8 spots to #16, Mitsubishi Outlander up 5 to #22 and the Mazda CX-5 up 12 to #25. Disaster stroke for the Ford Focus crumbling down 59% and 15 ranks to a paltry #23.
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Full Year 2014 Top 25 models and Top 63 All-brands vs. Full 2013 figures below.