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Russia 2003: Lada Riva #1, foreigners up 97% to 17.8% share, led by Toyota

#1 after 8 months, the Lada 2110 ends 2003 in third place.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 245 All-models by clicking on the title *

The Russian new car market gains a solid 8.6% year-on-year in 2003 to break it all-time volume record at 1.234.017, its first time above 1.2 million annual units. Foreign brands are starting to gain significant traction in Russia, now growing exponentially: after eclipsing the symbolic 100.000 annual mark for the first time in history in 2002, this year they more than double they sales at +97% to reach 220.000 units and 17.8% share. Reversely, Russian carmakers edge down 1% to 82.2% share but remain above one million annual sales. Lada (-1%) sees its share slip below the 60% mark, at a still ultra-dominant 59.5% while GAZ (-10%) dives to 13% and UAZ (+5%) resists at 5.2%. IZH (+33%) is the only Russian marque to continue to progress significantly, reaching 4.2% of the market this year.

The Russian-made Chevrolet Niva gives a boost to “foreign” sales in Russia in 2003.

Toyota (+213%) brilliantly becomes the most popular foreigner for the first time after 8 consecutive years of Daewoo domination. Chevrolet shoots up 40-fold to #2 but this is due to the introduction of the Niva, produced locally through a joint venture between General Motors and Lada and originally designed as a replacement for the venerable Lada Niva (now renamed 4×4) from 1978. The Chevy Niva would end up co-existing with the Lada Niva in Russia for the next 15 years. Ford (+216%) also passes Daewoo (+79%) which tumbles down from #1 to #4 foreign brand this year. Mitsubishi (+120%) and Hyundai (+182%) complete the Top 10, with Lexus (+334%), Seat (+238%), Mazda (+223%), Honda (+172%), Opel (+160%), Subaru (+127%) and Chrysler (+123%) also extremely impressive.

The Lada Oka breaks into the Top 5.

Although it led the YTD charts as far as 8 months into the year, the Lada 2110 (+7%) ends up being stuck at #3 in the 2003 models ranking, but posts the largest gain on the podium. The Lada Riva (-2%) holds itself very well given the increased foreign completion but its share drops two percentage point on last year to 18.7%. The Lada Samara (+6%) gets ever closer to the pole position, 20.700 units below the Riva vs. 37.000 in 2002. Both GAZ Gazelle (-13%) and Volga 3110 (-17%) drop by the double-digits, with the Lada Oka (+4%) taking advantage, up two spots to break into the Top 5.

Below the Chevrolet Niva, the Ford Focus is the “true” #1 foreigner in Russia in 2003.

The Top 10 remains 100% Russian with the IZH Oda (+35%) and UAZ 3309 (+31%) still valiant. The Chevrolet Niva (see above) is the #1 “foreigner” although this is in fact a Russian vehicle. The “true” foreign best-seller is the Ford Focus (+353%) taking the lead for the first time at #13, toppling the Daewoo Nexia (+112%), with the Toyota Corolla (+286%), Mitsubishi Carisma (+79%), Toyota Camry (+234%) and Hyundai Accent (+99%) in tow.

Previous post: Russia 2002: Lada Riva, Samara and 2110 on top, foreigners up 40% to 9.8% share

Full Year 2003 Top 45 All-brands and Top 245 All-models below.

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