The first half of 2004 for domestic manufacturers was not just successful - a record. Sales of Russian cars for all six months grew as if spellbound. Following them, production volumes did not even keep up. As a result, in early July, all car factories reported on overfulfillment of even their most daring plans. Not only that: almost everything that was released was immediately sold!

Turn to the numbers. On the whole, the volume of passenger car production in Russia in the first half of the year increased by 16.4% compared to the same period of 2003 and amounted to 536 thousand units. So, our leader AvtoVAZ increased production of cars by 9% (hereinafter - in comparison with the same period last year) - up to 349, 176 units. At the same time, cars of the “tenth” family produced 114, 315 units. (an increase of 15.5%). My beloved “daughter” didn’t let us down - 24 thousand Chevrolet Niva all-terrain vehicles were collected at JV Em AvtoVAZ for six months (5.5 thousand in a comparable period). And at Izh-Avto in the first half of the year they increased production by 19.5% to 53, 679 units.

In January-June 2004, GAZ produced 34, 556 passenger cars (an increase of 43.6%), and KamAZ shipped 20, 040 passenger cars to consumers (sales growth - 6.6%). The leaders of the plant regard the performance of the first half of this year as "a kind of record for the past few years."

So there is something to be happy!

Foreign cars

The first half of the year brought no surprises for foreign manufacturers: in the top ten leaders are still mainly Asian companies, as well as two American and one European companies that set up assembly in Russia. In the first place, as before, General Motors - a stylized Chevrolet cross is still the most fashionable in Russia. Apart from the 336 Trail Blazer SUVs and 230 other “Americans”, our fellow citizens have chosen 24, 000 joint Chevrolet Niva. In second place, as before, the Japanese Toyota, compared to last year, it added as much as 120%! But in third place, the newcomer - Hyundai. The Korean company surprised at an unprecedented growth rate - 219%! By the way, if you add together the sales of Hyundai and its affiliated KIA (we have it in honorable eighth place), you get an absolute six-month record of 28, 112 cars!

The second in the top ten in terms of dynamics was the Japanese Nissan, which actually ranked seventh: plus 144% compared to last year. By the way, among the best-selling cars we have is the Almera golf class model in eleventh place. It also demonstrates an unprecedented growth rate: plus 264% (for comparison, sales of the most popular among Toyota Toyota Corollas decreased by 7%).

With the return of Nissan to the dollar zone, competition in all classes among Asian manufacturers has further intensified. But Lexus became the absolute champion in dynamics: sales growth - as much as 341%! Against the background of the Japanese premium brand, the achievements of European brands in this segment look much more modest: 42% for BMW and Mercedes, 27% for Audi. In general, a strong euro played a cruel joke with all manufacturers from the Old World: in the top ten companies-leaders in sales there were only those that established assembly in Russia (Ford, Renault) and the American-German Opel, which sells its cars only for dollars. The sale of the most popular models is even more indicative: four of them are assembled in Russia, two - in Uzbekistan, two - “pure” “Korean women” and two - “Japanese women”. Models of European production are found only at the end of the second ten …

But be that as it may, foreigners can rub their hands: the Russian automobile market has been growing for them for a season, moreover, at an unprecedented pace, with a yearly increase of 30-50%. Over 170 thousand new foreign cars were sold in this half-year (growth is slightly less than 50%), and according to all forecasts, no less than 300 thousand will be sold over the year (even taking into account the traditional autumn recession).