The Lada Granta gains 43.6% and the Renault Logan 31.1% in January in Russia.
After being hit full frontal by Crimea-related sanctions, Russian new car sales had brilliantly rallied back, managing 16 consecutive months of double-digit gains between May 2017 and August 2018. Since then, the growth has petered out, with September (+6.2%), October (+5.2%), November (+10.1%) and December (+5.6%) marking the slimmest year-on-year gains in almost two years. The trend is confirmed in this first month of 2019, escaping a negative result by the skin of its teeth at just +0.6% to 103.064 registrations, a weakness partly to be attributed to a 2% rise of the VAT for cars in the country. Homegrown brand leader Lada (+2.5%) marks a 5th month-on-month market share gain at 20.9%, its highest in two years – since January 2017 when it held 21% of its home market. Kia (+2.5%) also outpaces the market in 2nd place with 15.2% share, well above the 10.3% it held in December and the 12.6% from the FY2018 but it’s Hyundai (+23.9%) that impresses the most near the top, lifting itself above 10% share at 10.5% for the first time since last September.
Renault (-1%) recedes year-on-year but gains 5 spots on December to #4, distancing Volkswagen (+10.9%) and Skoda (+23%) both in excellent shape. The best performer in the Top 10 is BMW (+28.3%) climbing up 7 spots on its December ranking to #9, a new all-time ranking record in Russia for the German premium brand and only its 2nd ever incursion in the monthly Top 10 after February 2015 (#10). Further down, Genesis (+279.2%), Jeep (+132.3%), Volvo (+112.9%), Porsche (+57.7%), Mini (+50.6%), Cadillac (+25%), Audi (+24%), Isuzu (+20%) and Infiniti (+12.4%) make waves, while once again recently-launched Chinese brands post some of the largest gains with Geely (+231.9%), Haval (+99.4%) and Zotye (+37.3%) all galloping ahead but remaining below 0.5% share.
Over in the models ranking, the facelifted Lada Granta (+43.6%) signs a third consecutive monthly win and 4th in the past 5 months, lifting its total to 44 wins since January 2010, by far the most prolific Lada in pole position this decade as it distances the Priora (12, last in August 2012), Kalina (11, last in July 2012), Classic (6, last in March 2011), Vesta (6, last in October 2018) and Samara (3, last in December 2011). As far as foreign nameplates are concerned, over the same period the Kia Rio led the Russian charts outright 17 times (first in November 2014) and the Hyundai Solaris 11 times (first in January 2015). The Lada Vesta (+5.7%) and Kia Rio (-5.1%) follow on the podium like in December while, the Hyundai Creta (+9.2%), Solaris (+27.4%) and VW Polo (+15.1%) all post very dynamic gains in the remainder of the Top 6. The Kia Sportage (-10%) is the 2nd best-selling SUV in the country despite a double-digit drop, with the Skoda Rapid (+9.2%) rallying back up 14 spots on December to #8 and the Renault Duster (-6.9%) up 13 to #10. Further down, the Hyundai Tucson (+137.3%), Toyota Camry (+40.1%), Renault Logan (+31.1%), Kia Optima (+20.8%), Skoda Octavia (+16.7%) and Nissan Qashqai (+13.3%) all lodge spectacular gains while the Skoda Kodiaq (+414.7%) is inside the Top 25 for the 5th straight month and the 6th time in the past 7 months.
Full January 2019 Top 53 All-brands and Top 25 models below.