Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through the Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Tomsk in Siberia, we are now moving 450km East to Krasnoyarsk in the midst of Siberia. And this is it: used right-hand drive Japanese imports have taken over. Although I only stayed in Krasnoyarsk 4 hours it is enough to establish the simple fact that roughly every second car in the city is a used Japanese import, therefore being driven with the steering wheel on the wrong side! Jump in for the full report!
The king of the Japanese used imports is the Toyota Ist, which is fighting with the Zhiguli for the title of most frequent model in the streets of Krasnoyarsk. Yep, that many! The Ist success as a used vehicle in Russia is all the more impressive that its popularity was short-lived in Japan: it ranked #4 for its first year in market there in 2002, #6 in 2003, #8 in 2004 to then disappear from the Top 20 ever since…
Among the ever-expanding variety of Japanese imports, I saw a few current generation Honda Stepwagon and Airwave, Odyssey, Nissan Cube, Serena, Presage, Toyota Wish, Opa, Caldina, Corolla Axio, Voxy, Allion and even one IQ, one Mazda Verisa and one Mitsubishi Airtrek. I even picked one more Toyota Will Cypha! I have to say I will never tire of being astonished at how popular this model is in Russia.
The Lada Granta, although very well established, may not be the best-selling new model in Krasnoyarsk, that honour could well go to the Hyundai Solaris, once again extremely solid and consistent in every single city I visited since my arrival in Russia 10 days prior to being here. Other very successful new cars here are the Kia Rio, Ford Focus, VW Polo, Hyundai Elantra, Renault Logan and Toyota Camry in this order.
SUVs are here in force, especially the new generation Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe, both already impressively frequent in the streets of Krasnoyarsk, with the Toyota Prado, Kia Sportage, Hyundai ix35 and Mazda CX-5 also over-represented.
As far as recent launches are concerned, I spotted two new generation Toyota Corolla in the space of a couple of hours which to me is quite amazing, one new Lexus IS, one Mercedes CLA and one new Skoda Octavia.
Popular luxury models include the new gen Mercedes E-Class, GL-Class and M-Class and Infiniti QX56, while in the Chinese aisle the same two familiar SUVs stand out: the Lifan X60 and Great Wall Hover, each spotted a few times in the streets of Krasnoyarsk.
That was the Krasnoyarsk car landscape for you! I hope this was exotic enough, next stop is Irkutsk near the Lake Baikal…
Krasnoyarsk September 2013 – rough estimate:
|4||Hyundai Santa Fe|