Russia’s car industry has faced upheaval since the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February and while domestic output has shrunk, the used car market has started to swell.
With many car manufacturers closing factories in Russia and some selling their local operations entirely, many consumers are left with no choice but to purchase a vehicle from the used market.
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Data reveals that 76 per cent of used cars being imported into Russia come from Japan while Belarus sits in a distant second with a 5.3 per cent share. Prices of used cars are up about 10 per cent higher in September than they were at the start of the year and while Japan has sanctioned the export of high-value cars to Russia, it has no control over used cars that are being imported by individuals. No less than 23,117 used cars were imported to Russia in August, a significant increase from the 11,055 in February.
Furthermore, Moscow is promoting a grey import scheme to allow the supplies of goods to continue. Meanwhile, the number of new cars imported into Russia has slowed dramatically this year and of the 10,257 new cars imported in August, almost 70 per cent came from China.
Reuters notes that individual buyers have imported more than 100,000 cars through Russia’s port city of Vladivostok from January to August, an increase of almost 50 per cent from the year prior. In addition, individuals now account for a 23 per cent share of all new cars imported into Russia, a huge increase from the 2 per cent in February.
Sales of new cars in Russia are down almost 60 per cent to 506,661 units between January and September.