The exit of renowned international automakers from Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine opened up a huge market for China to dominate. And within just a couple of years, the Russian market is back in progressive mode with Chinese cars leading the market share.
Prior to the February 2022 invasion, Chinese cars accounted for less than 10% of the Russian market. Now the market share has reached almost 56%, according to the data from analytical agency Autostat and its partner consulting company PPK. Chinese brands have sold around 60,000 units each month since August 2023, which include imported vehicles as well as those made inside Russia. And the number is steadily on the rise.
Chinese carmakers such as Haval, Chery, and Geely are capitalizing on the departure of Western players that used to dominate the market before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, showing Moscow’s increasing dependence on Beijing and growing economic ties with China as the West shuns Russia over the war.
Russia has jumped from 11th place to become China’s largest export market for cars, reaching a value of $9.4 billion in January-October, Chinese customs data showed. In the same period of last year, car exports to Russia amounted to $1.1 billion.
Overall, monthly car sales in Russia are now more than double what they were a year ago, Autostat data showed, while separate data from federal statistics service Rosstat showed car production was nearly three times higher in September year-on-year, underlining the sector’s recovery.
Russia’s leading carmaker Avtovaz, which produces the most popular Lada cars, is catering to the demand for cheap cars, while Chinese brands are filling the gap left by Western producers for more expensive vehicles. However, the market share of Chinese brands in Russia has already eclipsed that of Avtovaz & Lada.
The number of new car sales in Russia has started to creep up in 2023 with sales of Chinese cars expected to reach up to 400,000 by the end of this year. The trend is expected to continue in 2024 & beyond as more Chinese automakers are entering the Russian market.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com