"VOLGA" FROM RYAZAN AND "GOLF" FROM PETER
WHY CARS IN DIFFERENT REGIONS
TEXT / IGOR MORGARETTO
Still, the great country of Russia! It’s not at all what, for example, Switzerland: it is smaller in size than the Moscow Region, and residents from one end may simply not understand their fellow countrymen from the opposite side: they have different languages, habits, and customs. And we have from Rostov-on-Don to Vladivostok 10 hours fly; Rostov comes down from the ladder - he is greeted in an understandable, native language. Yes, what a language - even car prices are formed according to uniform laws. True, unlike those for which you can calculate the price in Switzerland, here the final cost is strongly influenced by non-market factors.
"SPORTIDGE" - HE AND IN TYUMEN "SPORTIDGE"
The results of last year, many dealers of foreign companies celebrated as a holiday: sales of new cars in 2001 compared with 2000 increased by more than two times! True, almost half of the sales came to Moscow and St. Petersburg, in which only a tenth of the country's population lives. Well - this is where the main money is “spinning”. However, the ice has broken - for example, Mitsubishi last year opened six dealerships at once - in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Stavropol, Vologda, Izhevsk and Saratov. The rest are not asleep.
Pricing policies in the regions of foreign firms are built in different ways. For example, the Russian representative of Volskvagena said that they do not dictate prices to dealers - they are free to set them themselves. And they admit: in some places, monopoly dealers, taking advantage of this right, tried to raise prices (compared to average). True, they almost everywhere quickly leveled off, and the “gray” dealers helped this: they, too, do not doze off. By the way, today Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov are among the leaders in sales from 17 regional dealers of Volkswagen. Prices there are “Moscow” (in the capital, where the fiercest competition, dealers keep the lowest prices).
But Avtotor CJSC, which collects KIA cars in Russia, has set uniform prices for the central warehouse; dealers have the right to add only transportation costs. Apparently, this is not so bad, judging by the growth in sales of KIA cars and the number of dealers in the regions (37!).
But all the same, not new foreign cars rule the ball in the regions, but very, very second-hand ones. Let us leave the Far East, where domestic cars have long become exotic (this is a separate issue). The most popular in European Russia are “Volkswagen”, “Opel” and BMW with a value of “from 3 to 5”, not too old, therefore not particularly annoying owners of their foreign ailments. Closer to the western border they are, of course, cheaper; in addition, the price is sometimes directly related to the availability of a service and a parts store for a given brand in a city (region). As for the expensive foreign cars, they, oddly enough, in the province are much cheaper than in the capital. I am at a loss to explain this phenomenon - apparently, it is more difficult to get away with the once very expensive but non-new foreign car: the "middle class", very few in Voronezh and strong in Perm, prefers VAZ 2110. So, if for a five-year Mitsubishi Pajero in Moscow they ask for almost $ 20 thousand, then in Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk - a little more than 16, seven-year-old in Moscow will cost 13.5, in St. Petersburg, Samara and Chelyabinsk - 10, 5–11 thousand dollars. And the 3-4-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser, which is estimated at 24 thousand dollars in the capital, can be bought in Novosibirsk for 21. It seems that it’s more profitable not to go for a used “jeep” to Cologne, and to Kurgan …
WE SUPPORT THE DOMESTIC
However, the majority of Russians vote not too long ruble for local products. Last year, the country's fleet was replenished with a million new cars "made in Russia". A foreign car, even a used one, is faster, more comfortable, more reliable, safer, but the complete lack of service and spare parts for it will make you “support” - you yourself know whom.
The second and main argument in favor of the "Lada" and "Volga" - their (so far) cheapness. Therefore, the preferences of the Russians are very characteristic. In the course of the polls conducted by the editorial office in a number of cities in Central Russia, it turned out that the main quality when choosing a car for the vast majority, of course, is the price. Then the potential buyer pays attention to such indicators as maximum speed (where are they going to drive?), Maintainability and only then - design. Then they are already starting to think about profitability (they know how to count money in the provinces!). It’s somehow not customary to remember safety …
Thus, the first places are universally given to VAZ automobiles, and by no means the "tenth" family - for all its merits, for most owners in the province their maintenance and repair is too expensive. Therefore, even many "new" ones make a choice in favor of the "advanced" models of the previous series, such as the VAZ 2115. The Volga are also popular.
Prices for new cars in different regions of the European part of Russia (we decided to talk about the territory beyond the Urals) do not differ much and are determined primarily … by remoteness from Tolyatti and Nizhny Novgorod. Previously, price changes at GAZ and AvtoVAZ were at least tried to adjust to market fluctuations (they would either lower prices or raise prices depending on demand). It happened three to four times a year. Local dealers reacted to such changes instantly, literally during the day, but to Moscow and “to the very outskirts” the waves arrived a month or two late. Hence the price difference between cities, which is often used by some dealers.
Since last year, factories have been conducting a planned, more predictable pricing policy. AvtoVAZ, for example, raises prices for all models almost every month - it seems to be quite a bit, by 40-50 dollars. But in the end, models are getting more expensive by 300-500 dollars a year. By the way, local dealers are practically deprived of the opportunity to influence the retail price: in car dealerships it directly depends on the selling price of the plant (for domestic cars, the difference is usually not more than 300-400 dollars; transportation expenses are also included here).
As for the market for used Russian cars, VAZ models are leading here. And again, ahead is not the cars of the "tenth" family, but the "six" and "nine". The very fact of becoming a leader serves as a kind of “quality mark”: the model is time-tested and will not fail. Therefore, it is not surprising that in the first five - cars produced by AvtoVAZ and GAZ - albeit of an archaic design, but they are familiar and easy to repair. But the "Muscovites" did not even get into the top ten - their quality, unfortunately, has long been a household name …
In the first years after the collapse of the USSR, such a type of auto business flourished as the purchase of used domestic cars in the former Soviet republics (Central Asia, the Baltic States) and their resale in Russia. Now on our roads you rarely see a “used” Niva with transit numbers. The borders of the Russian Federation are reliably protected by customs duties, and the spread in prices across the regions of the country itself is small (if, again, you do not touch the Far East; but how many are there who want to waddle on the ten-year-old Volga from Blagoveshchensk to Tver?). Suppose a six-year-old “six” in good condition in almost all of Central Russia is estimated (depending on mileage) at 1.7–1.9 thousand dollars, a three-year “nine” - 3.1–3.3 thousand, and for GAZ 3110 1998 both in Barnaul, and in Voronezh, and in Tomsk they ask for about the same amount - about 3 thousand dollars.
According to forecasts of most regional dealers, if there are no shocks (such as new customs duties), the situation in the automotive market (both in the primary and secondary) will not change significantly. Unless the “dozens”, which are being produced at AvtoVAZ more and more, will come closer to the group of leaders, and the existence of such a brand as “Moskvich” will be completely forgotten in the province.