Russian car sales are in a free fall due to the pressures of international sanctions and war, according to the Association of European Business (AEB), which represents foreign investors in Russia.
The international community has roundly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine ever since the first troops crossed into the country on Feb. 24. Since then, foreign companies and investments have fled from the country. The crash of the rubble and meteoric inflation certainly hasn’t helped put the Russian public in a new car buying mood, but even if they were, there isn’t much in the way of stock left in the country.
It’s not just the people of Russia who are suffering from the lack of new cars. The decision to pull out of the Russian market is affecting brands around the world. From CNN Business:
Just 55,000 new cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in Russia last month, down 63% from March 2021, according to data released Wednesday by the Association of European Business (AEB), a group representing foreign investors in Russia.
All brands — European, American and Asian — suffered losses, but the hardest hit among the big sellers were Volkswagen, whose sales fell by 74%, followed by the German group’s Škoda brand and Toyota (TM). In February, overall sales fell just 4.8%, association data showed.
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, also took a severe hit: Sales collapsed 91%, the most of any make. Porsche, also part of the Volkswagen (VLKAF) group, saw its sales slump by 73%.
It’s not just your everyday brands like Toyota and Volkswagen that are no longer selling cars in Russia; Ferrari and Lamborghini pulled out recently as well, with both luxury brands sending monetary support to the people of Ukraine. Foreign carmakers with factories in the country like France’s Renault are suspending manufacturing in Russian factories. Even Russian automakers like Lada are having a hard time keeping their doors open due to the snarl of a supply chain interrupted by tough sanctions.