* See the Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *
After dropping 19% in August and 29% in September, the Russian new car market return to the devastating freefall that had characterised the first six months of 2015: October sales are down 39% year-on-year to a meagre 129.958 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down a dismal 31% to 1.322.681 units. The local economy is falling deeper into recession, handicapped by dropping commodity prices, U.S. and E.U. economic sanctions and 15.6% inflation, a lower level than the previous two months but still cramping any chance of a return to growth. The Russian government has also stopped the scrappage scheme that was artificially curbing decline rates over the past year.
Most mid-term trends we have been observing over the past year get reinforced in Russia this month: homegrown manufacturer Lada implodes at -46% and only place the Granta inside the Top 8 models vs. three Renaults (Duster-Logan-Sandero). Korean carmakers Kia (-17%) and Hyundai (-8%) lose drastically less ground than the market, resulting in much improved market shares at 11.1% (vs. 8.2% a year ago) and 10.9% (vs. 7.3%) respectively. A perfect illustration, the Hyundai Solaris is the best-selling vehicle in the country for a staggering 5 of the past 6 months and is now only 4.606 units below the Granta year-to-date, a gap it may not be able to fill before 2015 comes to an end but in any case the closest a foreign nameplate has ever been to leading the Russian market annually. Just below the Granta, the Kia Rio shoots up a whopping 27%.
Interestingly, Volkswagen drops ‘just’ 26% which means its market share actually improves year-on-year, showing no sign of negative dieselgate sales impact. Its Polo is even up 20% year-on-year in October to #4 overall. Ford is starting to reap the benefits of persisting with Russian launches (starting with the Fiesta) and sees sales drop just 25% with the Focus back inside the Top 25 for the first time since December 2014. Luxury brands continue to be significantly less affected by the current crisis: Porsche is down just 5%, BMW down 15%, Audi down 18%, Mercedes down 21% and Lexus down 29%. Novelty: a couple of Chinese brands have bottomed out and are now claiming back the ladder: Geely is up 1% and Lifan down just 14%. Notice also Daewoo down 21% and Datsun down a disappointing 32%, with the on-DO dropping out of the Top 25 for the first time in a year.
Full October 2015 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models below.