Russian car sales up 5 pct in January - AEB

MOSCOW Fri Feb 8, 2013 9:03am EST

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MOSCOW Feb 8 (Reuters) - Russian car sales grew 5 percent year-on-year in January, picking up in response to shorter delivery times and better price offers, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Friday.

It follows a rise of one percent the previous month.

The AEB has estimated that 2.95 million cars will be sold in Russia during 2013, flat on the previous year's figure of 2.94 million, as drivers curb spending due to concerns about economic troubles in Europe.

"We see that customer activity is picking up across the industry, as a response to attractive price offers and shorter delivery time for a wide variety of models," Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee said in a statement, describing January's sales as "very encouraging".

Western carmakers including General Motors, Ford , Renault and Fiat have invested heavily in Russia to take advantage of a market that is expected to overtake Germany as Europe's biggest some time this decade.

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