Russian car sales are getting absolutely obliterated at the moment.
Sales of light vehicles plunged by an astonishing 42.7% in the year to November, underlining the country’s economic turmoil.
That data comes from the Association of European Businesses.
Some major brands which sold more than 10,000 models in November 2014 saw their sales collapse even further — Toyota and Nissan’s each fell by 53%, while Chevrolet purchases crumbled, dropping by 71% in just 12 months.
In total, there were 131,572 sales in November this year, in comparison to 229,432 in the same month during 2015. For the first 11 months of the year, Russian consumers have bought 765,000 fewer light vehicles than they did in the first 11 months of 2014.
Other sectors of the economy aren’t doing quite so badly, but the stunning collapse of the ruble means that imported goods are now prohibitively expensive for Russians. Even cars actually produced in Russia will require parts and materials from elsewhere in the world, and they have shot up in price.
Here you can see the dollar surging in value against the ruble:
The AEB notes that in November last year, the ruble’s plunge had begun, and people were rushing to make purchases of foreign goods, making the decline in the last 12 months particularly sharp.
Russia’s GDP has slumped with global oil prices, and though it’s likely to come out of recession next year, the country’s currency has dropped in value by more than half against the dollar over the last two years.
President Vladimir Putin’s former finance minister even thinks the pressure on Russia means that it will exhaust its currency reserves soon.