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Russia 2008: Lada Riva only 735 sales above Samara, Ford Focus #1 in December

Lada 2107

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The Russian new car market soars 23.6% year-on-year in 2008 to smash its all-time volume record at 2.897.459 registrations. This remains the largest ever annual volume in Russia, making it in 2008 the second biggest European market after Germany. The balance has now shifted totally to the disadvantage of local brands only holding 28.6% of their home market this year at 829.000 sales vs. 71.4% and 2.068.00 units for foreign brands. Lada remains comfortably in the lead at 21.5% ahead of Chevrolet (8.1%), Hyundai (6.7%), Toyota (6.6%) and Ford (6.4%). GAZ (#7), UAZ (#15) and IZH (#21) all tumble down. Among the Chinese, Chery is up to #28 above Great Wall (#33) and newcomers BYD (#35), Lifan (#36) and Geely (#39).

Lada Priora

The Lada 2105-7 (aka Riva) is the best selling car in the country again but sees its advantage over the #2, the Lada Samara, thaw to just 735 units. That’s the closest the Lada Riva has come to not being the best-seller in Russia ever since models data is available to us in 1999. In fact, the Riva was #1 only 5 times in 2008 vs. 6 for the Samara which led the YTD ranking at end-March, end-July, end-August, end-September and end-October. But the Riva delivered the two largest monthly scores of the year – that would end up being the largest monthly volumes by any nameplate during the following 10 years: 20.591 sales in April and 23.517 in November.

The Ford Focus is the first ever foreign nameplate to top the monthly Russian sales charts.

The Lada Priora jumps onto the podium for its first full year of sales at 4.4% share, while the Lada Kalina is up to #4, making the Top 4 100% Lada for the first time since the USSR became Russia. The Ford Focus remains by far the most popular foreigner in Russia with a record 93.500 sales. It was the first foreign nameplate to ever cross the 10.000 monthly sales mark in Russia July (10.023), beating that record again in December (10.149) to historically become the first foreign nameplate to ever top the Russian monthly sales outright that month… The Chevrolet Lacetti (managing a podium ranking in March at #3), Renault Logan, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Lancer X and Daewoo Nexia complete the Top 10.

Previous year: Russia 2007: Lada 2104-7 ahead of Samara

Full Year 2008 and every monthly Top 52 All-brands and Top 20 models below.

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