Wednesday 9 July 2008

Official: Russia is #1 in Europe's car market (RU)

Russia has officially knocked Germany off the top spot as Europe's largest car market. A document showed that new car sales in Russia rose by a huge 41% during the first half of this financial year, totalling sales of 1.65 million cars.

Russian car deliveries are expected to total 3.8 million by the end of the year, with Germany's expected to reach just 3.2 million.

Spending on new vehicles in Russia totalled a record $33.8 billion during the first half of the year, of which $27 billion worth of new cars were imports.

The country's oil-based economy is to thank for its growing wealth. But few big industry players predicted the speed in which Russia has become a key European market.

Carlos Ghosn, boss of Renault-Nissan, said six months ago he thought the Russian car market would overtake Germany's "within two years". While John Fleming, Ford's European chief, said it might happen in 2009.

Russia is predicted to account for 20% of global growth in the automotive market through to 2015.

Its not all bad news, Germany takes 2nd place after holding the number 1 spot in car sales, past last few years, while the UK is shoved into 3rd place.

Thanks to Russia's growing economy, will this make the country the highest carbon dioxide emitter in coming years?

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