5 Apr 2021 11:13

Shortage of automobiles in Russia easing, minister says

MOSCOW. April 5 (Interfax) - The shortage of automobiles on the Russian market due to the pandemic and ongoing logistics problems is easing, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said.

"It's incorrect to say that there's some sort of shortage. For some models, for some categories of automobiles there is always, loosely speaking, higher demand. And the dealer, who is responsible for selling a given product, should forecast what the consumer is interested in today, should thus put together an order ahead of time. Of course, the automaker tries to work with the market and analyze, but all this also depends on dealers on the ground," Manturov told reporters.

The shortage of automobiles on the market that distributors and dealers continue to talk about "is waning," he said. "This is, so to speak, an absolutely normal situation," Manturov said, adding that the growth of the automobile market in Russia is a good sign.

The Association of European Businesses has reported that the market edged up by 0.8% year-on-year in February after falling 4.2% in January.

However, national daily Kommersant, citing sales data from major players on the Russian auto market and forecasts made by its sources, reported on Monday that sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles slumped 6% year-on-year in March. Dealers attributed the drop to a shortage of automobiles on the market that arose at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to this day, the paper said. It is in large part due to the global shortage of chips for the auto industry.