Russia has overtaken Germany as Europe's largest car market
9 July 2008

Russia has overtaken Germany as Europe's biggest car market, an official report has revealed.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers document showed that new car sales in Russia rose by an enormous 41 percent during the first half of this financial year - with a total of 1.65 million cars sold.

Russian car deliveries are expected to total 3.8 million by the end of the year, with Germany's expected to reach just 3.2 million.

Spending on new vehicles in Russia totalled a record $33.8 billion during the first half of the year, of which $27 billion worth of new cars were imports.

The country's oil-based economy is to thank for its growing wealth. But few big industry players predicted the speed in which Russia has become a key European market.

Carlos Ghosn, boss of Renault-Nissan, said six months ago he thought the Russian car market would overtake Germany's "within two years". While John Fleming, Ford's European chief, said it might happen in 2009.

Now the PWC report says that Russia will account for 20 percent of global growth in the automotive market through to 2015.

Will Powell

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