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Russia March 2017: Largest year-on-year gain in 4.5 years at +9%

First Top 10 ranking at home for the Lada XRAY. Picture courtesy 

* See the Top 53 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

The signs the Russian new car market may have now bottomed out are clearer this month. At +9.4% on a depressed March 2016 figure to 137.894 registrations, car sales in Russia register their largest year-on-year gain since September 2012 (+10%) which, incidentally, was the first time the Lada Granta ranked #1 at home. Another milestone to be noted: this is only the fourth time in the past four years that the Russian market shows growth after November 2016 (+0.6%), December 2014 (+2%) and December 2013 (+4%). Thanks to minimal sales drops over the first two months of 2016, the year-to-date tally also steps into positive territory at +1% to 322.464 units. Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, says:“This is great news for our market which had not seen a positive quarter in more than 4 years. But as the saying goes, one swallow does not make a summer. More solid month results will be needed before we can call this a robust trend”.

Brand-wise, the Top 5 best-sellers beat the market, marking a clear concentration towards the tried-and-tested values in market and hesitations towards less popular marques. Lada (+13%) logically leads the way but its market share (18.2%) is lower than its YTD level (19.1%). If Kia (+18%) remains in 2nd place above sister brand Hyundai (+29%), it also post a market share retreating back to 10.6% vs. 11.6% so far this year while Hyundai is at 10.3% vs. 9.4%. Renault (+19%) and Toyota (+18%) round up the Top 5, with Volkswagen (+16%) also showing a double-digits gain inside the Top 10. Beyond, notice Datsun bouncing back up 103% to #12, Mazda up 22%, Peugeot up 36%, Volvo up 40%, Mercedes Vans up 50%, Jaguar up 166% and Smart up 178%.

In the models ranking, the Kia Rio remains a comfortable #1 with sales surging 44% to 8.375 and 6.% share ahead of the Lada Granta up an equally impressive 51%. The Rio has now led the Russian sales charts for a third consecutive month and the 6th time over the past 8 months after last August, September and October as well as January and February this year. The Hyundai Solaris climbs back up 4 spots on last month to third place overall but drops 13% year-on-year. The Lada Vesta is kicked out of the podium and, worryingly, sees its market share slide from 5.2% in January to 4.8% in February to 4.4% now. The Hyundai Creta is down one spot on February to round up the Top 5. The Lada XRAY breaks into its home monthly Top 10 for the very first time just over a year after its launch at #10 and 2.2% share, now ranking #9 year-to-date. Other impressive gainers inside the Top 25 models include the Toyota RAV4 (+31%), Nissan X-Trail (+33%), Toyota Camry (+39%), Datsin on-DO (+82%), VW Tiguan (+181%) and Kia Sportage (+187%).

Previous month: Russia February 2017: Kia Rio confirms top spot in market down 4.1%

One year ago: Russia March 2016: Hyundai Solaris sovereign, Vesta cannibalises Granta

Full March 2017 Top 53 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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