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Russia May Become the Largest Auto Market in Europe This Year

Russia may pass Germany to become the largest auto market in Europe this year, according to the most recent semi-annual report on the Russian Automotive Market from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (PWC).

Projected sales volume in largest EUropean markets. Click to enlarge.

For the first half of 2008, Russia has already edged past Germany in terms of sales volume. During the first six months of 2008, auto sales in Russia rose to 1.645 million units—a 41% increase in comparison with the same period the previous year—compared to 1.63 million units in Germany, said Stanley Root, leader of PWC’s automotive practice in Russia.

The Russian market not only continues to rise in quantitative terms, but growth rates are also accelerating. The average car price also continues to grow, in part because of the increasing share of relatively expensive new car imports. In dollar terms, the Russian auto market grew 64% in the first half of 2008 to $33.8 billion.

Over the next eight years, Root said, Russia could more than double its domestic car output to 3.2 million units. Russia potentially could contribute more than 30% of the growth in monetary terms in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) auto market over the next eight years.




Well Russia's production of 1.6 million cars, up 41% this year, and an ability for doubling that to 3.2 million. It's good to see they are becoming more affluent but I can see that eventually even Russia will need to import oil and the prospect of ten dollar a gallon gas for all of us will come closer.

I was just looking at MSN's "The 30 cars that we can't import into Canada" , it's mainly for front/rear fender compliance issues. But no Peugots, Renaults or Fiats are allowed in, and they make some of the best gas sippers. Competition with Honda/Toyota has probably helped improve the quality of the European cars that they will no longer fall apart in the more extreme climate here. Either that or the domestics should be looking at the availability in North American of 1.3L engines. That's if they have the vision.


Russia seems to have weak local governments and states as a result of eons and eons of communism and now over a decade of reforms - so it will be a while before they become efficient at building and maintaining the kind local infrastructure & neighborhoods needed to support the kinds of mass production of vehicles seen in other developed countries. I think the Chi-Coms will have a car in every garage a lot sooner than Russia.

Alex Kovnat

Part of the reason why we in America are paying over four dollars a gallon for gas, is that we are victims of our own success. Let me explain:

For years, while both Russia (remember when it was the Soviet Union?) and China were under tyrannical regimes, we spared no effort promoting our way of life as superior. This included the idea that everybody should have a car. So finally after years of promoting our way of life, the Soviet Union broke up and China, while still officially Communist, adopted market-driven economics.

That means both of the above (in addition to other nations like India) are now clamoring for at least one car for every family. And so we have a huge demand for both petroleum and, in addition, more demand on the atmosphere to absorb all that carbon dioxide.

There are some ideas we Americans should promote, like freedom of speech and the press, and the dignity of the individual human soul.

But car ownership? Contrary to what the United Auto Workers may desire, I see no point to the exports good-imports bad paradigm. I would do the exact opposite: Allow American consumers access to fine cars manufactured abroad, while no longer promoting exports of cars to other societies. And we should, at very least, no longer promote the idea that everybody should have a car just because we're addicted to that idea in our own society.

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