During the crisis in the car market, Russian consumers missed nearly hundreds of models whose sales were discontinued in our country. To date, the price lists of Russian dealers include a little more than 300 types of cars. The main losses, we recall, occurred in 2015–2016, when manufacturers sold the remnants of cars imported before the collapse of the ruble, while refusing new deliveries amid weak demand. Moreover, for these reasons, some brands completely curtailed sales in Russia and did not even promise to return. True, if you do not take into account the massive Chevrolet and Opel, we are talking mainly about premium Acura and Dodge, or rather exotic Luxgen and SEAT, as well as numerous "Chinese". Meanwhile, the model lines of the remaining manufacturers continue to thin out, which is largely facilitated by the mandatory equipment of cars with the ERA-GLONASS system from this year.The saddest thing about leaving Chevrolet from the Russian market is the loss of the Cruze model, once so popular among Russians. The saddest thing about leaving Chevrolet from the Russian market is the loss of the Cruze model, once so popular among Russians
According to Vladimir Miroshnikov, Director of Development, Rolf, it is not practical to work with a wide range of models in the context of market stagnation. “As car sales declined year after year, manufacturers began to reduce their costs. One of these measures was the optimization of product lines, primarily due to niche models that did not demonstrate large sales volumes and became unprofitable in the new market conditions, ”he says.
Premium and niche automakers with the lack of local assembly in Russia have most severely reduced their lineups. Based on financial considerations of optimizing logistics and certification costs, they focused on the models that have the greatest potential in the Russian market, says Ivan Kondratenko, an analyst and consultant at Frost & Sullivan. “In general, the devaluation of the ruble, as well as the resulting increase in car prices, hit brands that had weak market positions and could not boast of impressive sales - for example, brands such as Alfa Romeo and Dodge. In a developing market situation, these manufacturers could rely on certain sales volumes, complementing popular brands, but when the crisis hit, purchasing power decreased, and consumer preferences shifted to a more practical and economical segment. The introduction of the ERA-GLONASS system also played a decisive role. So, Audi withdrew several of its niche models from the market at once, since the costs of installing the necessary equipment would be higher than the income from their sales, ”the expert comments.
However, there are also automakers who, in order to strengthen their positions in the Russian market, decided to keep their model lines in full force. Perhaps the most successful crisis was Kia, which took the lead among foreign cars and significantly increased its market share. As stated by “Driving. Russia” in a Korean company, a wide range of products, presented in all key segments of the Russian car market, is Kia’s main competitive advantage in Russia. “In order to strengthen Kia’s leading position in Russia, we regularly update our product line. In 2017, six new and updated models, as well as two special series, enter the Russian market, ”the Kia press service said. At the same time, none of the Kia models left the Russian market due to the crisis. In early May, dealers completed sales of the Kia Venga compact van, but this is due to plans to complete the production of this model at a global level.Dodge Nitro could not convince the Russians to send dealers of the brand to the salons, even despite its brutal appearance. The crossover has remained a niche. Dodge Nitro could not convince the Russians to send dealers of the brand to the salons, even despite its brutal appearance. The crossover has remained a niche.
Sometimes they come back
Meanwhile, the revival in demand in the Russian car market has already made some manufacturers think about the return of models that were once popular in our country. One of the first to do this was Mitsubishi, which since May resumed sales of the Pajero IV SUV in Russia and plans to return the ASX crossover by the end of the year. According to Vladimir Miroshnikov, the return of these models will help Mitsubishi, which has recently demonstrated modest sales figures, strengthen its position in the market.
But the Japanese do not plan to resume deliveries of electric vehicles i-MiEV and Outlander PHEV. Recall that Mitsubishi was the first in our country to officially sell electric cars, and the i-MiEV model has long been the only representative of the “green” in the Russian market. As Ilya Nikonorov, Marketing and Public Relations Director of MMS Rus explained to Za rulyom.RF, the care of electric vehicles, in particular, was influenced by factors such as the lack of subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles by the state, underdeveloped infrastructure, and the lack of charging stations in large cities and on the periphery.Updated Mitsubishi ASX Updated Mitsubishi ASX