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Russia October 2015: Hyundai Solaris holds onto lead, market down 39%

Hyundai Solaris Russia September 2015. Picture courtesy carscope.ruThe Hyundai Solaris has now been #1 in Russia during 5 of the past 6 months. Picture

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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.

Ford Focus Russia October 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruBack in the Top 25 for the first time in 2015: the Ford Focus

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%.

Geely GC9 Russia October 2015. Picture courtesy zr.ruGeely is one of only three carmakers to post year-on-year sales gains in Russia this month.

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.

Previous post: Russia September 2015: Now with Top 318 All-models (BSCB exclusive)

Previous month: Russia September 2015: Momentous shift to Korean models taking root

One year ago: Russia October 2014: Datsun on-DO above Opel Astra and Ford Focus

Full October 2015 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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