Russia was predicted to be Europe’s largest new car market in 2020, although adverse economic conditions sent new cars sales plummeting 15% in 2014. This had a negative impact on carmakers, which experienced shrinking profit margins, but still remain committed to staying in the Russian market. Even though new car sales are expected to stabilise in 2016, the car industry will experience a turbulent future as fundamental problems still remain in the Russian automotive industry.
Promising market no more
Russia is the largest new car market in Eastern Europe, accounting for 66% of Eastern European new car sales in 2014. Due to rapid expansion over the past five years, Russia was predicted to overtake Germany as Europe’s largest new car market in 2020.
However, as economic downturn and Western sanctions hit the country, such forecasts collapsed. Due to the adverse economic conditions, new car sales in Russia plummeted by 15% to 2.5 million units in 2014, the worst result since the 2009 crisis.