Despite a slowdown and sales, cuts in production and the political crisis in the Ukraine, global automakers are still moving ahead with plans to expand in Russia, which could become Europe’s largest single market before the end of the decade.
Russian sales dropped 5% last year and are expected to shrink further this year despite the pent up demand for new vehicles in European Russia. At the same, though, Nissan has moved forward with sales in Russia of its Datsun brand, which is aimed at the lower range of the market.
Global automakers appear to be willing to look beyond Russia’s role in the messy political upheaval in the Ukraine as they continue to expand in Russia, which is expected to emerge as the largest automotive market in Europe well before the end of the decade. (more…)