The national manufacturer LADA, the central player of the Russian automotive industry, retained over 20 percent of the market share in 2018. The brand was leading in both primary and secondary markets as of May 2019. Two of its models made it in the top three of the most sold passenger car ranking, with Vesta leading the list at over 60 thousand units in sales as of the first half of 2019.
After a gradual decline in sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), the trend turned positive in 2017. Sales volume climbed up to 1.8 million units in 2018, with roughly 13 percent growth compared to the previous year. A sport utility vehicle (SUV), the most desired type of car by the Russian customer, generated the largest market sales turnover as of July 2019, with the Korean Hyundai as the most sold brand in this category. The second largest segment in terms of sales was B-class with over 120 thousand units sold during the first six months of 2019.
Production dynamics, similar to sales, saw a moderate improvement after 2017. However, foreign localized brands’ production levels, which represented over 70 percent of aggregate passenger cars and LCV production in 2018, accelerated and are expected to reach over 1.1 billion cars in production during 2019. Accordingly, only about 12 percent of car dealership networks were of national origin by 2019.
As for trade, import volume has been steadily shrinking over the last years. In 2018, Russian car exports exceeded the import value of passenger and light commercial vehicles roughly twice in volume. Latvia remained the major importer of LADA with over three thousand units exported there in 2018.