Sunday, January 3, 2010

Most popular car brands in Russia (2009)

What are the most popular car brands in Russia?
asked by Anonymous

I would love to give you some dynamics of development of this interesting subject but in order to save some time I will have to stick to 2009 only covering the market of new cars. (
"The used ones" preferences are really hard to cover as the popularity really varies from one region to another (The Far East - Japanese brands, European part- German brands or so ))))

The 2009 rating of the most popular new cars in Russia was severely shaken by the latest economic crisis, when the sales of new cars in Russia had decreased by -50% comparing to 2008.


Sharp recession has touched almost all companies.
It was especially severe to the traditionally popular in Russian Far East Japanese manufacturers. The Very high exchange rate of yen to dollar and Euro, not to mention the Russian ruble forced Japanese manufacturers to raise the prices for the car production.
As a result, the decrease in sales in 2009 for major Japanese car manufacturers was dramatic for Honda -72 %, Toyota -64 % and Mitsubishi -63 %.

It also cost Toyota two places in the rating of the most popular in Russia car brands, and now it is only the sixth, Mitsubishi has dropped 3 places and was only 11-th, and Honda from 13-th place has dropped to the 19th. It is a bit better for other Japanese manufacturers - Nissan, Subaru, and Mazda, but their parameters for 2009 also stay below market average: decrease was 56 %, 57 % and 59 % accordingly.


Some producers, like Saab and Chrysler, for example, even had to close their car production facilities for Russian market, others, like Alpha Romeo, wished this year finished soon seeing the sales dropping to minimum (62 cars in first six months of 2009). The bad state of sales for all three brands of American Chrysler Group for 11 months of 2009 has resulted in -86 %. With the only one exception - the Hummer. Although Americans have sold this mark to the Chinese - the cars for Russian market were assembled in Russian Kaliningrad, that (together with the price reduction) helped the growth of sales of this huge off-road cars +74 %.

Despite the rather stable position of premium- brands, Volvo and Saab have suffered a significant drop of sales - 66 % and - 71 % accordingly.
Still there was a company which managed to show during this crisis year an outstanding result on Russian market: Citroen (growth of +6 %). Citroen has overcome in this year Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Land Rover and some other companies and climbed in ranking from the 31-st to the 23rd place.


The 2009 crisis of sale has practically left untouched "the big German three ": BMW (-13 %), Audi (-12 %), Mercedes-Benz (-29 %). They now have headed the premium-class brands, having thrown off the pedestal Volvo and Land Rover.
After transferring to the factory to Kaluga (Moscow region) production of almost all brands of Volkswagen and thus absence of high customs taxes Germans managed to keep the prices for the cars on a good level. During 11 months of 2009 VW has sold 36,500 cars and has risen from 17-th to the 12th place in rating. Drop of sales VW was only 19 % - which was one of the best parameters of this crisis year.

Other car brands worked hard to keep up the sales.


2009 Top 10 sales leaders of the most popular cars in Russia (Jan-Oct 2009)

1. Lada Priora (84 779 cars)
2. Lada Samara (77 679 cars)
3. Lada 2105/2107 (57 513 cars)
4. Lada Kalina (52 499 cars)
5. Ford Focus (44 143 cars)
6. Renault Logan (43 595 cars)

7. Chevrolet Lacetti (24 889 cars)

8. Daewoo Nexia (23 275 cars)

9. Chevrolet La
nos (21 144 cars)
10. Lada 4x4 (20 661 cars)


  1. You have a beautiful Russian car! If you would ask me, I would love to explore cars of different nations. As per now, I focus more on Japan cars such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan. My first car is one of those Santa Ana used cars which my father bought when I was still in Junior High.
    When I entered college and moved in to my aunt, she got me a Nissan Sentra from a used car dealer (Orange County-based). Since then, I can't help myself from loving cars of all types.

  2. I lived in Russia for 12 years and am trying to track down a brand I saw over there. It was a hybrid, I think with a Japanese engine but Russian body, it looked quite curvacious but never really took off - price was in the mid-range for foreign cars. The moment you named it, I'd remember. Did it start with a D? Can't really remember.

    Could you help?