8 Oct 2009 18:20

Russian car sales plunge 52% to 118,000 in Sept

MOSCOW. Oct 8 (Interfax) - Car sales in Russia plummeted 52% in September 2009 year-on-year to 118,000, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said in a statement.

Car sales in January-September fell 51% to 1.11 million units, it said.

"September showed a very slight stabilization compared to August but some of this is to be expected given the end of the vacation period. Clearly the automotive market continues to have a very difficult year and we are not seeing signs of this improving in the fourth quarter," said David Thomas, AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee's chairman.

Martin Jahn, vice chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, noted that the decline of the Russian automotive market is the most dramatic among the fifteen largest markets in the world.

"It's vital to the industry that the government support measures continue but equally important that schemes are applied fairly across all brands and help the whole industry that employs people in distribution as well as manufacturing," Thomas said.

"We in the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee believe that in order to improve the situation, it is necessary to include into the state support program all the locally produced cars, call off the limitation on the price of the cars eligible for the program and increase the budget allocated for the program to the amount that would enable 500 thousand cars to be sold under the program planned for next year," the statement says.