* See the Top 60 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *
No sign of improvement at the horizon for the Russian new car market, in freefall this year at -36% to just 782.094 registrations halfway through 2015. Local association AEB is trying its best to minimise the impact of the situation, stating that “it could be much worse” (hardly), were it not for “the ongoing reduction in base interest rates as the door opener for a successful reanimation of credit-financed demand, and the continuing – and recently increased – government subsidising of lower interest rates and scrappage schemes. However there is no macroeconomic justification for a potential recovery within the next 12 months it now looks almost certain that Russia will drop by at least 30% by the time 2015 comes to an end, lodging the weakest annual tally in a decade.
Crisis times almost always trigger market consolidation towards trusted manufacturers and this year is no exception in Russia. The Top 3 best-sellers go from a combined market share of 31.1% one year ago to 37.9% over the First Half of 2015. Local carmaker Lada gains over two percentage points, going from 15.7% share to 18% thanks to sales down ‘just’ 27% to 140.686. But the real winners in Russia this year are Korean manufacturing couple Hyundai and Kia. Hyundai is down 11% to see its market share gain 3 percentage points from 7.3% to 10.2% while Kia is down 19% to go from 7.6% to 9.7%. If these year-on-year drops seem surprisingly high to warrant the title of ‘winners’, that’s because you haven’t seen the rest of the list yet…
Lexus (+3%) at #20 and Porsche (+18%) at #34 are the only manufacturers in the Top 45 posting a year-on-year volume increase. Mercedes drops by just 3% and is up 6 ranks to spectacularly land inside the Top 10 at #10, UAZ surfs on the SUV wave to fall just 2% at #13 and BMW is down 21% to improve to #15. In spite of a very badly timed launch, Datsun confirms Russia is really the only country in the world where its relaunch as a low-cost brand can be deemed successful. The Japanese manufacturer seems to have reached its cruising rhythm however at #14 and 2.4% share – almost exactly the same as during Q1 (#12 and 2.4%).
Dongfeng is the only other new carmaker launch over the period, at a very discreet #44 with 408 sales and 0.1% share. Notwithstanding the manufacturers mentioned above, the rest of brands ranking looks like a hunting board: Honda (-79%), Peugeot (-77%), Citroen (-74%), Chery, Ssangyong, Suzuki, Opel – scheduled to be discontinued in Russia in December (all at -73%), Great Wall (-71%), Jeep (-69%), Chevrolet (-65%), Geely (-59%), Volvo (-58%), Daewoo (-57%) and Ford (-56%) – despite reiterating it is confident its Russian sales will rebound, would all rather pretend 2015 never occurred…
Similarly to the brands ranking, we are witnessing a clear consolidation of the models charts towards a handful of trusted fares: the Lada Granta (-11%) goes from 5.8% to 8.1% share, the Hyundai Solaris (-3%) from 4.5% to 6.9% and the Kia Rio (-10%) from 3.8% to 5.5%. As a result the podium holds 20.5% share vs. just 14.1% a year ago. The big event over the period is the overall pole position of the Hyundai Solaris, not once but twice: in January and May. This means the Lada Granta was outsold during 3 of the past 8 months, counting the November win of the Kia Rio. Times are changing, as local website zr.ru described in a long article quoting BestSellingCarsBlog.
Outside the podium, the Lada Kalina (-41%) only owes its 4th spot to the demise of the Renault Duster (-51%) while the VW Polo (-36%) gains two spots and the Renault Logan (-18%) gains four. The antediluvian Lada 4×4 was up to a stunning 4th place over Q1 2015 and recedes down to a more reasonable #8, one of only three nameplates in the Top 25 to post a year-on-year increase at +6% and 7 spots. The other two are the Skoda Rapid up 185% but launched exactly a year ago, and the UAZ Patriot up 7% to #23. Notice also the Toyota Camry up 7 ranks to #10, the Datsun on-DO landing at #13 and the Nissan X-Trail up 5 spots to #20.
Q1 2015 update: Russia 1st Quarter 2015: Datsun oblivious to devastated market
FY 2014 updates:
Full H1 2015 Top 60 All-brands and Top 25 models vs. Full H1 2014 figures below.