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MOSCOW, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Russia’s car market is expected to grow by 10.8 percent this year, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group said on Monday, increasing its sales growth forecast from 4 percent previously.
Russia’s car industry has been recovering faster than expected this year thanks to the improving economy.
Sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in Russia were expected to increase to 1.58 million units this year, the AEB said in a statement. It had previously said it expected sales to reach 1.48 million units in 2017 vs 1.426 million in 2016.
“September proved to be another good month on the way to a continuous recovery of the Russian car market,” Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB automobile manufacturers committee, said in the statement.
In September, sales of new cars and LCVs in Russia rose 17.9 percent year-on-year to 148,371 units, the AEB said.
“Market sentiment is strong that the positive trend will continue in the coming months,” Schreiber added.
Russia’s once-booming auto market became one of the most high-profile victims of a steep economic downturn in the last two years, with sales halving from a peak of almost 3 million a year in 2012. But the industry’s prospects have brightened this year on the back of a nascent economic recovery.
One of AEB’s automobile committee members — the head of Kia Motors’ Russian business, Alexander Moynov — told Reuters in September he expected Russian car sales to reach between 1.57 million and 1.60 million vehicles, and expected the AEB to lift its 2017 sales forecast to around the same level. (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Catherine Evans)