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Russia July 2020: Market back up 6.8%, Skoda (+68.7%) breaks all records thanks to new Rapid, Karoq

For its 2nd month in market, the Rapid II reaches the highest ever ranking for any Skoda nameplate in Russia at #6.

Complete turnaround for the Russian new car market, now up 6.8% year-on-year in July to 141.924 units. The year-to-date tally is now down -19.3% to 742.681 and this rally means we have revised our 2020 Russia Forecast from 1.42 million units (-19%) last month to 1.51 million (-14%) now. Note these figures don’t include BMW and Mercedes which now share Russia sales quarterly only. According to AEB, this month long-awaited good result is due to a combination of factors, including deferred demand from the previous months of closed operation, a weakening Ruble and supportive government measures, and could have been even stronger were it not for stock shortages linked to Covid production lockdowns. However good the July news are, AEB remains prudent for the rest of 2020 when the Russian market will remain unpredictable due in part to uncertainty surrounding currency levels and associated price fluctuations, the long-term iconic effects of the pandemic and potential new localised lockdowns.

Geely sales surge 69.4% year-on-year, the Skoda Karoq ranks #18.

Lada (+5.7%) almost matches its home market’s growth rate and settles at 22% share, in line with its YTD level. Kia (-4.1%) on the other hand is still in negative, but Hyundai (+3.4%) improves somewhat. Skoda (+68.7%) is the hero of the month, delivering the largest gain in the Top 15 and shooting up 3 spots on June to #4 with 12.329 sales and 8.7% share. This is the first time in Russian history that Skoda scores a five-digit monthly volume, its previous best being 9.990 units in December 2012. It also breaks its ranking and share records, eclipsing previous bests of #5 and 7.8% hit just last April. Nissan (+33.5%) and Volkswagen (+28.9%) post the other two outstanding surges and are the only additional gainers in the Top 10 just as GAZ (-30.1%) crumbles. Further down, Haval (+55.3%) advances two spots on last month to a new record 1.3% share and #14 ranking, becoming the first Chinese brand to crack the Russian monthly Top 15 three times after last January (#15) and May (#15) and eclipsing Lifan which managed this feat once in December 2015 (#15). Fellow Chinese carmakers Changan (+291%), FAW (+254.1%), Chery (+100%) and Geely (+69.4%) also secure very impressive upticks, with other great performers including Isuzu (+128.8%), Cadillac (+98.4%), Jeep (+60.2%), Volvo (+54.3%), Honda (+36.6%), Citroen (+33.2%), Porsche (+31.3%), Lexus (+27.2%), Fiat (+20.2%), Ford (+16.6%), Iveco (+14.7%) and Peugeot (+12.8%).

Haval is up 55.3% to a record 14th place in the Russian brands ranking.

Over in the models ranking, the Lada Granta (+7.5%) signs a 16th consecutive win, distancing the Lada Vesta (+9.7%) as usual just as the Hyundai Creta (+31.6%) assertively reclaims its spot on the Russian podium, knocking the Kia Rio (-2%) down to #4. The VW Polo is boosted up 49.1% by a new generation but remains at #5, while its twin the Skoda Rapid PA II storms up 19 spots on its inaugural month in June to land in 6th place with 3.7% share, instantly making its the most successful Skoda nameplate ever in Russia, as it passes by the previous generation Skoda Rapid’s high mark of  #7 hit both in January 2017 and November 2018, as well as the Octavia’s ranking record of #10 reached in November 2019 and April 2020. The VW Tiguan (+18.3%) also manages to vastly outpace the market in the remainder of the Top 10, while further down the Nissan X-Trail (+76.5%), Skoda Octavia (+48.4%), Nissan Qashqai (+29.9%) and Renault Sandero (+23.9%) also impress, while the Skoda Karoq (#18) joins the Rapid PA II as the only two recent launches (<12 months) in the July Top 25.

Previous month: Russia June 2020: Skoda (+3.2%), Lexus (+22.5%), Haval (+99.5%) help contain market loss to -14.6%

One year ago: Russia July 2019: Renault (+11.9%), Mercedes (+11.5%), Skoda (+10.4%) can’t help 5th market drop in past 6 months (-2.4%)

Full July 2020 Top 55 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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