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Russia 2009: Lada Priora ends decades-long Riva reign, market down 49%

Lada Priora

* See the Top 56 All-brands and the annual and monthly Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

Russian car sales are hit full frontal by the Global Financial Crisis in 2009, almost halving the record 2008 score at -49% to just 1.465.917 units. Russian carmakers get a rare share uplift at 31.3% vs. 28.6% in 2008 due to the arrival of two local producers, Vortex (#32) and TaGAZ (#35), mainly assembling CKD Chinese models. They add up to 459.000 sales vs. 1.006.700 or 68.7% for foreign carmakers. Homegrown brand leader Lada (-44%) manages to lose less ground than the market, improving its share to 23.8%. Chevrolet (-56%) remains #2 but drops one percentage point to 7.1%, ahead of Ford (-56%), Hyundai (-61%), Renault (-33%) and Kia (-20%). In the remainder of the Top 15, only Volkswagen (-22%), Skoda (-35%) and UAZ (-36%) manage to outpace the market. The only year-on-year gains in the entire market are delivered by Citroen (+1%), Hummer (+65%), Isuzu (126%) and Geely (+103%) taking the lead of Chinese brands at #28 above Chery (-69%) at #36, Lifan (-44%) at #39, Great Wall (-70%) at #40 and BYD (-81%) at #45. The Ukrainian ZAZ brand is reborn as Chance (#29).

The Renault Logan is the best-selling foreigner for the first time in history.

Thanks to a moderate 22% year-on-year drop, the Lada Priora manages the unthinkable: topple the seemingly unbeatable Lada 2105/2107 aka Riva to take the annual lead at home for the very first time. It is the first time since at least 1998 that the Riva is not the best-selling model in Russia, and it could be entirely possible that the Riva has in fact held the annual top spot since its inception in 1970. It is therefore a historical landmark for the Priora which led the monthly ranking 11 months out of 12, only passed by the Samara in April. In fact, the 2105/2107 (-60%) drops two spots to fall to #3, also overtaken by the Lada Samara which matches the market at -46%.

The Lada 4×4 signs the only YoY gain in the Top 20 and its first Top 10 finish since 2003.

The Lada Kalina (-35%) remains at #4 but we have a new foreign leader: the Renault Logan (-27%), best-selling foreigner for the first time at #5 and peaking at #3 over the last three months of the year. The Ford Focus (-44%), peaking at #3 in March, Chevrolet Lacetti (-64%) and Daewoo Nexia (-44%) follow. Tough times bring tough vehicles: the Lada 4×4 aka Niva (+10%) makes a remarkable come back at #9 (first annual Top 10 since 2003), signing the only year-on-year gain in the Top 20. The models ranking is completely different in Moscow: over the first 6 months of the year, the Ford Focus is by far the best-seller ahead of the Chevrolet Lacetti, Opel Astra and Mazda3. The first Lada is only #9 (2105-7) and the Priora is… 24th!

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

Full Year 2009 Top 56 All-brands, Full Year and monthly Top 25 models and 6 months Moscow Top 10 below.

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