Russian September Car Sales Fall 5% in Economic Slowdown

Russia’s new car and light commercial vehicle sales declined 5 percent in September from a year earlier to 246,895, following the country’s worst economic slowdown since 2009.

Automakers sold 2 million vehicles in the first nine months of 2013, 7 percent fewer than in the same period a year earlier, the Association of European Businesses in Russia said in an e-mailed statement. It was the seventh straight monthly decline. Sales for OAO AvtoVAZ (AVAZ), the biggest Russian car producer, lost 14 percent in the first nine months, while its shareholder Renault (RNO) SA gained 12 percent, the data showed.

Russian economic growth slowed to 1.2 percent in the second quarter versus a year earlier, a deceleration from as much as 5.1 percent in the final three months of 2011. Car sales had grown at least 11 percent for the last three years.

“Total market momentum is still lacking the sufficient strength necessary to achieve a stable level, as a pre-condition for moderate growth in the nearer future,” Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in the statement.

Full-year 2013 sales could be 5.1 percent lower than in 2012, or about 2.79 million cars, according to the AEB.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anatoly Temkin in St. Petersburg at atemkin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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