Uncertainty clouds recovery for Russian automakers

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Russia’s new car market is unpredictable at the best of times. A resurgence in positive COVID-19 infections, temporary lockdowns and unpredictable manufacturing output punctuate what has been another challenging year.

In October, Moscow entered a ten-day lockdown following renewed spikes in positive cases and daily fatalities. At the time of writing, daily infections now exceed 37,000, and local reports indicate a hesitance across the country to receive vaccinations. Data compiled by Reuters suggests that only a third of the country’s population may have received the recommended two doses.

For manufacturers, sales have been inconsistent in recent months. Figures from the AEB-AMC, Russia’s official outlet for manufacturing statistics, show how output has fluctuated massively. In May, new car sales were up by 113.8% year-on-year but by August had slipped 17%. The latest figures for September show a further decline, down 22.6% over the same period the year prior. Thomas Staertzel, Chairman of the AEB-AMC, said in a statement that the negative trend was down to strained production, the semiconductor and energy crisis, and a rise in raw material costs. “The market situation is very uncertain at the moment,” he emphasised.

The Niva Travel is one of two new launches for Lada in 2021

And it is that uncertainty that leads Avtovaz, the owner of Russia’s leading automaker, Lada, to remain cautious of

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