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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Chevy cruises into Russia's top 3

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Chevy cruises into Russia's top 3

Douglas A. Bolduc

Automotive News Europe -- March 14, 2010 19:00 CET

MUNICH -- Chevrolet outsold Kia by 611 units in February, passing the Korean automaker to become Russia's No. 3 brand after two months.

hevrolet was helped by the recently launched Cruze mid-sized sedan, which climbed a spot to No. 24 among the country's best-selling cars, according to data from the Association of European Businesses (AEB). So far Chevy has sold 1,372 units of the Cruze in Russia.

The rise for Chevrolet came despite its overall sales decline of 47 percent to 11,169 after two months.

Through February, Kia's Russia sales are up 27 percent to 10,580 units. The automaker is growing fast due to strong sales of the Kia Rio, Sportage and Cee'd.

Based on group sales, Lada maker AvtoVAZ of Russia is No. 1 followed by General Motors, which includes Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer, Saab and Opel, and Volkswagen's five-brand group. (Click on Russia sales table, right)

Overall new-car sales in Russia fell 32 percent to 91,922 in February from a year before, an improvement on the 37 percent decline in January.

After two months, the country's sales are down 34 percent to 165,862.

Automakers are hopeful the March 8 launch of Russia's car scrapping subsidy will lead to more robust sales.

Car buyers in Russia can now get 50,000 rubles ($1,680) for trading cars that are more than 10 years old for new car built in Russia.

“We lay our expectations on the scrappage program," Martin Jahn, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a statement.

The program has enough cash to subsidize the sale of 200,000 vehicles.

One of the cars poised to benefit from the incentive is the Moscow-made Renault Logan. The low-cost family car held its spot as the country's top-selling foreign car and No. 3 overall due to a 31 percent rise in sales to 7,177 units after two months. (Click on Russia Top 10 table, above right)

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100314/ANE/100319945/1198#ixzz0iFfjDJ2S

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