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Sales of cars and LCVs in Russia up 77%

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Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia jumped 77% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2011 to 517,304 cars, the Association of European Businesses said on Friday.

Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia jumped 77% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2011 to 517,304 cars, the Association of European Businesses said on Friday.

"The rapid rebound in the Russian market continued in March. Looking forward, the year-on-year increases will lessen, reflecting the inclusion of scrappage sales in the corresponding base period for 2010, but provided that oil prices remain high and the economic recovery continues, we remain confident for the balance of the year and 2012," Mark Ovenden, Deputy Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a statement.

In March, sales also grew 77% year-on-year to 223,429 cars.

Lada vehicles led the market by volume with a 69% growth to 121,251 cars, Renault demonstrated a 93% jump to 31,031 vehicles.

Sales of Chevrolet cars grew 51% to 31,003 vehicles, while sales of Kia and Nissan cars rose 71% and 160% to 30,250 cars and 27,629 cars respectively.

AvtoVAZ/Renault-Nissan gained the lead in groups with a 83% growth in sales to 181,877 cars and GM Group demonstrated a 63% growth to 43,541 vehicles.

Sales of VW Group rose 81% to 37,203 cars, while sales of Kia and Toyota Group increased 71% and 130% to 30,250 cars and 30,155 cars respectively.

Lada Kalina, produced by AvtoVAZ, became the best-seller of the first quarter demonstrating a 160% jump to 31,171 cars. Sales of Lada 2105/2107 soared 140% to 28,633 cars, while Lada Priora sales rose 35% to 28,192 vehicles. Sales of Lada Samara and Renault Logan rose 17% and 43% to 20,865 cars and 17,954 cars respectively.

According to AEB forecasts, sales of cars and LCVs will this year hit 2.24 million vehicles, while in 2012 the Russian car market is expected to reach its pre-crisis level of 2.8-2.9 million cars.

"A very impressive growth for the month of March and the first quarter of 77%. This puts down a strong foundation for growth in the rest of 2011 and for the development of the Russian car market back towards its pre-crisis level. The official AEB Consensus forecast for the full year remained at 2.24 million in March but we will review with our members during April and I expect that our official forecast will then increase," David Thomas, chairman of the AEB AMC, said.

MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)