Sanctions: Russian car sales collapse

New car sales in Russia continued their decline in May, falling 83.5% year-on-year, weighed down by inflation and heavy Western sanctions against Moscow over its offensive in Ukraine.

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According to figures from the Association of European Businesses (AEB), which brings together manufacturers in the industry, 24,268 new light vehicles were sold in May.

Compared to April, this is a decrease of 52%.

The slump in sales began in March after Western countries imposed severe sanctions on the sector, notably banning the export of spare parts to Russia.

In addition to sales, automobile production in particular is suffering from the Russian branches of industry.

The withdrawal of many foreign brands from the country and the suspension of spare parts deliveries have forced many local factories to a standstill. In April, auto production was down 85.4% in a year.

Since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24, many manufacturers have also announced that they will stop selling components or cars to Russia or stop production in Russia.

Another thunderbolt: Renault, whose work in Russia with Avtovaz had fixed this giant, sold its assets to the Russian state, a first major nationalization.

Tens of thousands of workers at Russia’s leading automaker Avtovaz have been on paid vacation for months, and much of the production has been shut down.

Inflation and ruble instability have also limited opportunities for Russians to buy imported products, especially cars.

Major global automakers invested heavily in Russia during a period of growth in the 2000s.

In May, Russia published a list of around 100 categories of goods that can be imported without the consent of intellectual property owners to circumvent restrictions.

Among these products we find in particular the major car brands and spare parts.

Russia has also relaxed standards for manufacturing vehicles on its territory, allowing the production of cars without ABS or airbags due to a shortage of electronic components and spare parts.

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