Chinese automakers now account for a third of Russia’s car market following the exit of Western brands after the invasion of Ukraine.
Sales of Chinese branded passenger cars, including Haval, Chery and Geely have surged in Russia, rising to 16,138 units in November, almost double the 8,235 in January, while their market share reached 31.3% from 9.6%, data from Russian analytical agency Autostat showed.
“There is little production of Western car brands and few imports, so the market is divided between the Russian and Chinese car industries,” Russian automotive analyst Vladimir Bespalov said.
Most Western automakers, who have fought with domestic carmakers for market share since they began building factories in Russia in the early 2000s, ceased operations after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February.
If the economic situation remains unchanged, Chinese producers, could account for around 35% of sales in Russia next year, Bespalov said, estimating the market would recover to 800,000 units.
In monetary terms, the share could surpass 40% of what he expects will be a 1.5-trillion-rouble market in 2023.
China’s sales volumes in Russia pale by comparison with in its domestic market, where in November they were about 35 times higher than in Russia.
For the first 10 months of the year, Russia was the sixth-largest export destination for Chinese automotive products, which includes vehicles and parts, according to China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers, accounting for 3.9%, virtually unchanged from the same period last year.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara