May became the third consecutive month seeing a respectable growth in sales, with 129,400 cars sold in April (a growth of 6.9%) and 137,800 cars in March (9.4% growth). The first five months of 2017 saw an overall surge by 5% compared to the same period last year, with 577,400 cars sold.
According to AEB, almost all brands, with the exception of UAZ, Lexus, Audi and Datsun, enjoyed strong growth. AEB representatives told Russian media that the figures indicate an acceleration of the automotive market's recovery.
Russian automotive giant AvtoVAZ led growth, enjoying 22% growth for the month of May and selling about 25,000 cars. KIA, the leader among foreign brands, grew sales by 26%, to 15,100 units. Hyundai, Toyota, Renault and Volkswagen also enjoyed double digit growth (of 13%, 15%, 22% and 28%, respectively).
According to Russian business news portal Expert.ru, key reasons for growth include pent-up demand, and the low base measurement from last year's figures.
Sergei Tselikov, the director of the Autostat analytical agency, told Expert.ru that growth has caught some dealerships off guard, with some showrooms running out of vehicles. "I think that the trend for market growth will continue, and turn into a stable long-term trend," Tselikov said.
Observers estimate that annual growth will comprise 5-15%. Government support measures, comprising 7.5 billion rubles in budget subsidies, are expected to provide additional momentum. The measures include discounts for families purchasing their first vehicle, assistance for family cars, vehicles for farmers, etc.