About Russian Automotive Industry

The automotive industry in Russia is one of the leading sectors of the national economy; it contributed near one percent to the country’s GDP in 2020, while its share in all engineering industries’ contribution amounted to nearly 40%. The automotive industry plays an important role in creation of new jobs. With 320 thousand people employed directly in that industry, above 3.5 million employees are provided with jobs in allied industries related to material manufacture, vehicle operation, maintenance and repair.

In 2020, OAR member companies manufactured 982.7 thousand motor vehicles, which correspond to 63.7% of their total output in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). This includes 842.0 thousand passenger cars (62.5% of their output in EAEU countries); 71.6 thousand light commercial vehicles (65.6% of their output in EAEU); 55.4 thousand trucks (80.0% of their output in EAEU); 13.7 thousand buses and coaches (83.5% of their output in EAEU), as well as 485.0 thousand automotive engines (80.2% of engine production in EAEU).

A long-lasting recession on the automobile market in Russia bottomed out by 2017, and the market returned to the growth zone. In 2018, both domestic and foreign companies operating in Russia produced locally in total 1.77 million motor vehicles showing a 14% growth. The next two years showed again a decrease of production: to 1.72 million units (down 2.8%) in 2019 and to 1.43 million units (down 16.6%) in 2020. New motor vehicle sales in Russia (as per registration data) amounted to 1.63 million units in 2020, down 8.3% as compared to 2019.

The total motor vehicle fleet in Russia accounts about 56 million passenger cars, trucks and buses. However, more than half of the fleet is taken by vehicles being in use for over 10 years, which is a major reason of environmental pollution; they have low fuel efficiency, insufficient active and passive safety levels.

The task of primary importance set by automobile manufacturers in Russia is renovation of the existing motor vehicle fleet by way of production and putting in operation of ecologically pure, energy efficient and safe vehicles.

                 125th Anniversary of Russian Auto Industry


  1896                       Yakovlev and Frese                      2021

It happened in the springtime of 1896 that mass media of St. Petersburg published the following news:  “A mechanical carriage is rolling over vicinity of St. Petersburg. Its passengers pose as manufacturers and nearly inventors of that machine; they vow that everything to the last screw in the carriage was made at their own workshop”. 

In the summer of the same year, namely on 1 (14) July, the mentioned “self-propelled carriage” was presented to the public at the Industry-and-Art Fair in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. The creators of the vehicle were Eugene Yakovlev, former naval officer, owner of the “First Russian Oil and Gas Engine Plant”, and Peter Frese, proprietor of “Frese and Co.” carriage factory. 

In the history of the national auto industry, it is recognized that the motor vehicle made by Yakovlev and Frese was the first Russian automobile; engineers Eugene Yakovlev and Peter Frese were the founders of Russian automobile manufacturing; and the date of 1 (14) July 1896 is the birthday of the Russian Automotive Industry.