After an unfavorable end of 2020 with a fall of new motor vehicle sales to 1.63 million units (down 8.3% on 2019) and reduction of vehicle output by 16.6% to 1.43 million units, the year 2021 traditionally started with a low sales level. In January, sales of new motor vehicles were down 4.2% year-on-year. However, already in February signs of market revival appeared, and the first quarter 2021 ended with slowing sales decline to down 2.8% year-on-year.

 April 2021 evidenced a surge of vehicle sales contrary to disastrous results of the “black April” 2020 when the manufacturers most heavily struggled because of the mass lockdown. Total vehicle sales during the first four months of 2021 turned to be up 24.3% year-on-year, however it was down 4.5% if compared to the same period of 2019.

 

May and June 2021 showed a further growth of monthly sales. Postponement of raising the scrappage tax has supported the market and contributed to slowing the vehicle price rise. As a result, the automobile market grew in the first half-year by 36.9% on the first six months of 2020. Moreover, the semi-annual results of 2021 were up 5.1% in comparison with the first six months of the pre-pandemic year 2019.

 In the third quarter 2021, a decline of sales was noted, considerably stipulated by the changed comparative base, as one year before restrictions related to the pandemics were lifted. The decline of monthly sales made growth of the market year-to-date slow down. By results of the first nine months, sales growth rate slowed to +16.3% as compared to the same period of 2020.

 Demand for motor vehicles remained stable during the second half-year, but limitation of production due to shortage of semi-conductors for automotive electronics on the global market continued to enlarge the gap between demand and offer, exerting negative influence on sales volumes. The situation was also aggravated by increase in prices of metals and periodically worsening circumstances related to extension of the pandemics. Nevertheless, in annual total, the market has reached a positive result with a cumulative growth of sales in all vehicle categories to 1.74 million units, up 6.8% in comparison with 2020. If compared to pre-pandemic 2019, the rate of annual decline reduced to -2.1%. It should be noted that these results significantly surpass results of 2021 on the EU market where automobile sales were down 1.5% compared to 2020 and down 25.5% compared to 2019. By motor vehicle sales volume, the Russian market took the fourth position in Europe after Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

 The share of OAR member companies on the Russian market (based on the number of vehicles sold in 2021) comprises totally 51.2%, including 48.2% in car sales, 76.0% in LCV sales, 53.1% in truck sales, and 90.4% in bus sales. The data on new vehicle sales in Russia (with separation of OAR members’ products) in a statistical array for 2019, 2020 and 2021 are shown in the attached Table 1.

 Positive moves on the market in 2021were ensured by prior successes of manufacturers achieved in conditions of overcoming the pandemic situation. Growth of production as against relevant periods of 2020 started already in January 2021 (up 1.1%) and reached an all-time height (up 43%) by the end of the first half-year. Then the rate of growth began to slow down to reach the final rate +9.1% by the end of 2021, with the total annual output 1.57 million vehicles. The highest growth rates are marked in production of trucks (up 32.3%) and light commercial vehicles (up 19.6%). These are the only two vehicle categories enjoying growth of production also as compared with 2019, while the common result is an 8.9% lag. Production volumes of motor vehicles in Russia for 2019-2021 distributed by vehicle category, and correlation of the 2021 results with the 2020 and 2019 results are shown in the attached Table 2.

 While estimating outlooks for 2022, one should take into consideration indefinite character and duration of the negative impact on the market of global factors such as shortage of electronic components, logistics problems, break of supply chains, increase of material costs, etc. Therefore, we can expect growth of the Russian market of new motor vehicles in 2022 by 3-5% to 1.79-1.83 million units. We also forecast a further growth of automobile production in Russia in 2022 by 8-9% approaching the level of 2019 (1.72 million units) and exceeding by 2023 the historic maximum of 2018 (1.77 million units).

Table 1

Sales of new motor vehicles in the Russian Federation, 2019-2021

                                                                                             thousand units

Vehicle category

2019

2020

2021

 

Total

OAR

OAR’s share

Total

OAR

OAR’s share

Total

OAR

OAR’s share

Passenger cars

 

1567,7

 

801,4

 

51,1%

 

1433,9

 

730,2

 

50,9%

 

1483,4

 

715,8

 

48,2%

 

LCVs*

 

118,3

 

94,3

 

79,7%

 

111,2

 

88,2

 

79,4%

 

142,7

 

108,5

 

76,0%

 

Trucks**

 

78,8

 

42,2

 

53,5%

 

72,7

 

41,7

 

57,4%

 

100,2

 

53,2

 

53,1%

 

Buses***

 

14,0

 

11,4

 

85,1%

 

13,3

 

11,9

 

89,1%

 

15,7

 

14,2

 

90,4%

 

Total

 

1778,8

 

949,8

 

53,4%

 

1631,1

 

872,0

 

53,5%

 

1742,0

 

891,7

 

51,2%

 

* light trucks with GVW up to 3.5t and minibuses

** except light trucks

*** except minibuses

 

 

Table 2

Production of motor vehicles in the Russian Federation, 2019-2021

                                                                                                units

Vehicle category

 

 

2019

 

2020

 

2021

Change

2021 /2019

Change

2021 /2020

 

Passenger cars

 

1 523 607

 

1 260 518

 

1 352 740

 

-11,2%

 

+7,3%

 

LCVs*

 

122 749

 

109 468

 

130 936

 

+6,7%

 

+19,6%

 

Trucks**

 

58 891

 

52 103

 

68 937

 

+17,1%

 

+32,3%

 

Buses***

 

13 869

 

13 462

 

13 704

 

-1,2%

 

+1,8%

 

Total

 

1 720 116

 

1 435 551

 

1 566 317

 

-8,9%

 

+9,1%

 

* light trucks with GVW up to 3.5t and minibuses

** except light trucks

*** except minibuses