* Now updated with the Top 60 All-brands and Top 385 All-models *
New car sales in Russia are trapped in a seemingly never-ending downward spiral, losing another 14% year-on-year over the First Half of 2016. This means the market has lost almost half its volume in two years, going from 1.229.931 over H1 2014 to 672.140 this year… The near future isn’t looking better either, and if local organisation AEB predicts a 10% drop over 2016 it is tainted with an optimism hoped to hold as a self-fullfilling prophecy. Local behemoth Lada has somehow stopped its race to the bottom thanks to the launch of new all-new nameplates (see further down), managing a decline smaller than the market at -12% to 124.353 units and 18.5% share. Kia (-8%) overtakes sister brand Hyundai (-19%) to take the 2nd spot overall with 10.4% share, meaning the Hyundai-Kia combination, at 20% share, is above Lada like last year.
Renault manages to improve its share marginally thanks to deliveries down ‘just’ 9% as does Toyota (-6%), Volkswagen (-8%) and Skoda (-4%) but Nissan (-28%) struggles. A handful of marques are able to go against the grain and post year-on-year gains: Chery (+3%) thanks to a facelifted Tiggo, Suzuki (+8%) thanks to the new Vitara, GAZ (+6%) and UAZ (+11%) as well as Lexus (+17%) thanks to the NX and RX but none as spectacularly as Ford, up a fantastic 52% to #11 overall and Lifan revived up 63% to #21 and back to the #1 Chinese spot in Russia, Among smaller brands, Brilliance (+41%) and Jaguar (+73%) also post significant improvements. Two additional Chinese carmakers enter this depressed Russian market over the period: FAW returns after a 2 year-hiatus with 500 sales and Zotye makes a timid appearance with 74 units sold.
Hyundai Solaris / Lada Granta Half-year sales comparison 2014-2016:
|Model||H1 2016||H2 2015||H1 2015||H2 2014||H1 2014|
For the second semester in a row, the Hyundai Solaris is the best-selling vehicle in Russia thanks to a decline limited to 14% to 45.930 vs. -31% to 43.967 for the Lada Granta and an even better hold for the Kia Rio in third place at -8% to 39.454. Hyundai has sold 108.096 copies of the Solaris in Russia over the past 12 months, way above the 100.576 managed by the Lada Granta, but the Solaris hasn’t been #1 over a calendar year yet. A last minute surge by the Granta in December prevented it from becoming the first foreign-branded vehicle to top Russian charts since World World 2. Can it manage that feat in 2016? The statistical logic would say yes, however I believe it is very unlikely that the powers that be will let a Korean nameplate dominate the Russian ranking in 2016.
A main component explaining the Granta’s weakness is the roaring arrival of the Vesta which, although not competing with the Granta in price but rather the Solaris and Rio, has made more damage internally at Lada than on its direct competitors. The Vesta lands at #5 so far in 2016 with a solid 22.894 sales, peaking at #4 and 5.128 sales in June. New Lada nameplates traditionally take a while hitting cruising levels, so the Vesta is bound to go higher, but a long-term pole position seems far-fetched. The other Lada new launch, the XRAY, has a much more limited success so far: it ranks #23 over H1 2016 with 8.042 sales, peaking at #13 in April but damaging the Lada 4×4 (-34%).
In other models news, the SUV segment is the only one featuring strong gains so far: 7 of the 9 models in positive in the Top 25 are either SUVs or have an SUV variant within their range: the Renault Duster jumps three spots and 15% to land at an outstanding 4th place, the Toyota RAV4 is up 4 ranks and 13% to #7, the Chevrolet Niva enjoys a second wind at +6% to #9, the Renault Sandero is up 0.2% thanks to the Stepway, the UAZ Patriot is up 13% to a best-ever #17 and the Nissan Qashqai benefits from the new model with sales up 63% to #18. The VW Polo (+4%) is the only exception.
One year ago (1): Russia First Half 2015: Hyundai and Kia winners in damaged market
One year ago (2): Russia First Half 2016: Now with Top 360 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)
Full H1 2016 Top 60 All-brands and Top 385 All-models vs. Full H1 2015 figures below.