By on October 10, 2012

After a thorough look at Japan on Monday, this week you get the privilege (?) of another sales update from Around the Globe, and we’re going to Russia with love.

Last time I took you to Russia was 18 months ago and since then there has been so much change that it’s not funny.

So not funny that it requires a new trip today.


Still stuck in the Cold War and Russia is not your cup of vodka? Niet Problem (yep, that’s Russian for No problem – how cool). You can visit 167 additional countries and territories in my blog, one by one, in the comfort of your own lounge. Or today I can also offer you the Top 277 best-selling models in the USA over the first 9 months 2012

For the last 2 years, the Russian car market has been on Absolut fire, with a continuous stream of monthly year-on-year gains contrasting with a gloomy Western Europe. For example, in September 2012 the market is up 10 percent year-on-year to 259,582 registrations, more than in Germany (250,082). The year-to-date total stands at 2,187,797 units after 9 months, up 14 percent on 2011, but lower than the 2.36 million sold Germany this time.

After an official presentation at the Moscow Motor Show in August 2010 and 8 months after its sales kick started in Russia last January, the Lada Granta takes the lead of the Russian models ranking with a record 14,050 sales and 5.4 percent share. It is up 12 percent on August and a comfortable 2,441 units above the #2…

…the Lada Priora down 15 percent year-on-year to 11,609 sales and 4.5 percent.

The Lada Kalina, still #1 year-to-date in 2012 at 96,513 units and 4.4 percent, rounds up the September podium with 9,315 sales and 3.6 percent, down 23 percent year-on-year.

After 9 months, Lada has sold 80,965 Grantas and should finish the year at around 120,000 which is above the 100,000 units the manufacturer planned for at the start of the year. So, is the Granta a success? It’s still too early to say, as it was launched to replace two monuments: the 32 year-old Classic and the 28 year-old Samara. Even though they have all but disappeared of the 2012 ranking (#18 and #8 respectively), these two veterans still sold a total of 235,000 units in the country last year so the bar is high for the Granta which will need to sell upwards of 200,000 units in 2013 to keep a smile on its bonnet.

Below the 100% Lada podium, the Hyundai Solaris (a Russian-manufactured Hyundai Accent) is stable at #4 and remains the best-selling foreigner with 9,096 sales and 3.5 percent…

…followed by its cousin the Kia Rio at 7,928 units and 3.1 percent, up 733% year-on-year (!) and the Ford Focus. The VW Polo is back up to #7 and the Chevrolet Cruze stays solid at #8.

Already extremely successful in the country with the Logan and Sandero sold under its own brand and not Dacia, Renault recently launched the Dacia in Russia and it’s a full-on hit. Only a few months in, it is already knocking at the overall Top 10’s door, missing it this month for just… 8 sales! It is #11 at 5,042 units and 1.9 percent share and already #20 year-to-date.

Two newcomers make themselves noticed this month in the Russian Top 20: the Mitsubishi Outlander, boosted by the new generation, shoots up to #16 with 3,571 sales and 1.4 percent…

…while the Lada Largus – rebadged Dacia Logan MCV – continues its progression, up 3 ranks on last month to #17 with 3,118 units and 1.2 percent. Notice also the Toyota Camry at #20 (+95 percent year-on-year!) and the Nissan Juke at #22 (+57 percent on September 2011).

Russia September 2012 – Top 10

Pos Model Sept % 2012 % Pos
1 Lada Granta 14,050 5.4% 80,965 3.7% 4
2 Lada Priora 11,609 4.5% 94,519 4.3% 2
3 Lada Kalina 9,315 3.6% 96,513 4.4% 1
4 Hyundai Solaris 9,096 3.5% 84,430 3.9% 3
5 Kia Rio 7,928 3.1% 64,353 2.9% 6
6 Ford Focus 7,782 3.0% 68,332 3.1% 5
7 VW Polo 6,108 2.4% 52,158 2.4% 7
8 Chevrolet Cruze 5,091 2.0% 46,448 2.1% 10
9 Lada 4×4 5,072 2.0% 40,496 1.9% 14
10 Chevrolet Niva 5,050 1.9% 44,031 2.0% 11

You can check the entire Top 25 best-selling models in Russia in September 2012 here

You can also check:

Russian car sales Historical Info since 1970

The August 2012 Russian Top 25: Russia August 2012: Lada Granta takes off to #2, Lada Largus #20

The September 2011 Russian Top 25: Russia September 2011: Hyundai Solaris up to #4 for the first time


Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

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15 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Big Change In Russia...”

  • avatar

    New Ladas do a remarkable job of looking like ten to fifteen year old Korean cars.

    • 0 avatar

      The Priora is more like a 20-year old Soviet car. Its just a face-lifted Lada 110, which hit the market in 1995, but was actually designed several years before that. Its also basically a reskinned Samara, dating to the early 1980s.

      Oddly enough, General Motors seems to have used the Lada 110 as inspiration when designing the Saturn L-Series – take a look at the two, not a flattering comparison.

    • 0 avatar

      More amazing … the 35-year-old Niva is still going strong at #10 (although it did have a facelift 15 years ago to change from a Lada Niva to a Chevrolet Niva).

      • 0 avatar

        Lada Niva and Chevrolet Niva are 2 very different cars. They’re sold alongside of each other.

      • 0 avatar

        Same mechanicals if I am not badly mistaken …

      • 0 avatar

        th009, you are mistaken.

      • 0 avatar


        The Chevrolet Niva does carry over the drivetrain and underpinnings of the Lada Niva, so under the skin, yeah, they are the same truck/car. Its a holdover from the heady days in the 1990s/2000s when GM was trying really hard to forge a strong alliance with AvtoVAZ, and the rebodied and rebranded next-generation Niva was an embodiment of those hopes. Since then, Renault has moved in and interloped, but the tie-up on the Chevy Niva remains in place.

        The “Lada 4X4” on the above chart is the classic style Lada Niva, presumably they use a different name for reporting so as not to cause confusion.

  • avatar

    Not bad for the largest oil exporter in the world.

  • avatar

    Note how the compact cars dominate. Still not a country of decent car, despite the oil revenues.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you seen the fuel prices and the tax on new vehicles there, and the relatively low average income?

      That would give you the answer why.

      • 0 avatar

        Fuel prices in Russia are are the same as the USA and much cheaper than Western Europe. But incomes are of course less so its not as affordable. However for the people that have money fuel prices are not a factor in deciding which car to buy. However I suspect that parking space is so that combined with lower average incomes results in cars generally being smaller. You do see a lot of luxury cars though with the BMW 7-series appearing to be the top choice of those who are at the upper end of the income ladder.

  • avatar

    Lada is part of Renault Nissan……

  • avatar

    I really like the front of that new Outlander. Is the US getting that one? I feel Mitsu will pull out of the US passenger car market entirely within the next 10 years.

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