Russia poised to become the world’s third-largest automobile market by 2012

According to a Frost & Sullivan report, Russia will be the world’s third-largest market for cars by 2012, behind the US and China.

While Russia has not been immune to the worldwide economic recession, and has seen vehicle sales slipping over the last few months, experts predict the country will make a very strong recovery in 2010. ‘As soon as the Russian banking sector overcomes months of financial turmoil and automotive loans are available again for Russians, sales of passenger cars are expected to revive,’ says Andriy Ivchenko, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

‘Given the fact that more than 45% of the passenger car sales in Russia were financed through bank loans, the financial crisis in Russia forced banking system to almost put on hold all new automotive loan applications for Russians,’ says Olha Kryvetska, Research Analyst with Automotive and Transportation Practise at Frost & Sullivan.

However, as the credit crunch eases over the next few months, Russian car manufacturers like GAZ, AVTOVAZ and KAMAZ hope to launch new models and get their sales back on track.

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