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Booming Auto Sales Help Infrastructure
Special to The
Experts and consultancy agencies are unanimous —
Between January and June 2008, Russians spent $33.8 billion on 1.65
million cars, compared to 1.63 million vehicles in
Experts predict that Russian auto sales could reach 3.8 million this year if the present level of growth is sustained. The country currently accounts for 12 percent of the total global auto market, and by 2015, the country’s car sales are expected to account for one fifth of global sales growth, or a maximum 6 million cars per year.
“Sales will continue to grow at this pace for two or three years as rising incomes fuel demand,” Mikhail Pak, an automotive analyst at IFC Metropol in Moscow, was cited by Bloomberg as saying.
Many analysts have suggested that the growth in car sales is due to
soaring property prices in
Dozen of foreign automakers have already opened factories in
Russians are also trying to develop the production of their domestic
brands, which is outnumbered by the booming demand for foreign models. Ladas
and Volgas are still produced, but sales of these traditional Soviet cars are
stable only in the provinces and small towns of
The main obstacles facing
According to observers, the first phase will see a new highway connect
“Government spending on improving transport infrastructure will also be an important factor in stimulating demand for cars,” said Pak.
Growing sales of foreign cars is also an indicator of the booming Chinese auto market. Fast cars have proven popular with young Chinese businessmen, with Mercedes Benz leading the market. By May 2007, the German carmaker had sold more than 300 of its sport models there, Bloomberg reported.
“In other developed countries this market is growing, at best, only slightly each year. The current economic conditions, characterized by high oil prices and the credit crunch, do not facilitate global automotive market development,” said Stanley Root, a partner at PWC’s automotive practice.
¦? The first in a series of new terminals designed to increase the
volume of cars carried by rail across the country was unveiled 90 kilometers
Double-decker car transporters loaded with KIA hatchbacks on both levels
were on display at the $50 million Mikhnevo terminal. The wagons are the first
of their kind in
“This will help take pressure off the overburdened roads by shifting more freight traffic onto our railway network,” said Viktor Ivanov, general director of RailTransAuto, the company that is setting up the terminals.
A spokeswoman for RTA said the Mikhnevo depot can currently store about 5,300 cars.
There are seven other hubs in the intended network, including one in