Chinese Auto Brands Overtake the Russian Market Amidst Turbulent Times
The 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War became a turning point for Chinese brands in the Russian market. Since May of that year, Chinese brands steadily increased their market share. As of June 2023, they have emerged as the leading automotive series in the Russian market, surpassing all other competitors.
1. Market Overview
In June 2023, the Russian automotive market witnessed its highest sales figure this year, with 75,000 vehicles sold, representing a 1.37-fold increase compared to the same period in 2022. However, the cumulative sales for January to June 2023 stood at 366,000 vehicles, reflecting a 1.16% decline compared to the same period in the previous year. This decline was mainly attributed to the widespread disruption in the country’s automobile production, which began with the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War in February 2022 and has yet to fully recover. The ongoing conflict continues to pose challenges, particularly in the supply of essential components, though there has been some alleviation compared to the previous year.
2. Performance of Chinese Manufacturers
In June 2023, Chinese brands recorded sales of 37,100 vehicles in the Russian market, achieving a remarkable year-on-year growth rate of 4.59 times. This places them ahead of Russian domestic manufacturers, making Chinese brands the market leader with a 49.4% market share. Cumulatively, from January to June 2023, Chinese brands sold 169,400 vehicles, displaying a three-fold increase year-on-year, with a market share of 46.3%, second only to Russian domestic manufacturers, who hold a 49.8% market share. In contrast, the cumulative market share of mainstream German, Korean, Japanese, and other foreign brands stood at a mere 3.9%.
3. Performance of Major Chinese Brands
Among the Chinese manufacturers operating in the Russian market, Chery emerged as the leading Chinese brand in June 2023, with sales of 15,423 vehicles, experiencing a year-on-year growth of 3.8 times. The continuous growth in sales of Chery, EXEED, and OMODA 5 models propelled their cumulative sales for January to June to 76,755 vehicles, accounting for a 20.97% market share.
Haval, Tank, and pickups from Great Wall Motors, on the other hand, drove the company to become the second-largest brand in the market, with 9,853 vehicles sold in June 2023, reflecting a year-on-year growth rate of 4.81 times. For the first half of the year, Great Wall Motors achieved sales of 44,747 vehicles, securing a 12.23% market share.
Geely took the third position, with 7,021 vehicles sold in June 2023, displaying a remarkable year-on-year growth rate of 5.84 times, marking the second consecutive month of surpassing the 7,000 mark. The cumulative sales for January to June reached 32,903 vehicles, corresponding to an 8.99% market share.
Other brands present in the Russian market include Changan, Bestune, and GAC Motor, among others.
4. Market Trends
Local Russian institutions forecast that due to the depreciation of the ruble and other factors, new car prices are expected to witness a 5%-10% increase in the second half of the year. According to analyses from Chinese industry institutions, currently, around 30 Chinese brands with more than 100 car models have entered the Russian market, making them the largest source of imported cars in the country. As per projections, Chinese brands are likely to surpass Russian manufacturers and become the largest automotive series in the market by the end of the year.