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Stop car: car dealers in the Far Eastern Federal District suffer from coronavirus

Due to restrictions and self-isolation in the field of autoretail in the Far East, a precrisis situation has developed

The largest collapse in sales caused by the spread of coronovirus affected the automotive market around the world, and the Far East did not stand aside. At the same time, auto-retailers may face new problems, since from July 1, the government will tighten the import of cars from Japan.

Stop car: car dealers in the Far Eastern Federal District suffer from coronavirus


According to estimates by the consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers, amid the situation with coronavirus and lower oil prices, sales of passenger cars in Russia in 2020 may fall by 30% to 1,14 million cars. The forecast is based on a negative scenario, according to which stabilization and restoration of oil prices is expected by the third quarter of 2020. The study seeks to remove most of the restrictions on the movement and activities of enterprises - in late spring or early summer. According to analysts, online car sales will actively develop in Russia. PwC experts also note that the fall of the Russian car market will be 3,5% - up to 1,57 million cars. 

“Due to the fact that in the next few months a sharp decline in salaries and real incomes among the population is expected. It is difficult to say how car sales will recover, because they do not belong to basic necessities. Certain shifts have already occurred in consumption among the population. So, about 35% of Russians surveyed already save on food, what can we say about cars. So, according to my calculations, the demand for autoretail will be restored at the very last moment. Perhaps this will happen by the middle of the fourth quarter of 2020, ”says economist Nikita Maslennikov.

However, the specialist noted that the retailer is implementing a series of “anti-crisis” measures, including the latter - fixing prices for the most popular cars on the eve of another rise in price in June; starting the selection of a car in stock and making an advance payment online, without a personal visit to the dealership.

According to Nikita Maslennikov, the fact that the state will support the autoretail will, in the first place, help companies not to trade in cars and keep busy. At the same time, the economist emphasizes that not everyone will survive. In the next six months, demand will be significantly lower, even during the period of economic recovery.

“In general, the auto business is recognized as an industry that has been seriously affected by coronavirus, for a reason,” explains Sergey Nisnevich, head of the sales department of Avtomir Primorye LLC, an official Mitsubishi dealer in Primorsky Krai. - Compared to April 2019, we have a 50% decrease in sales. With the introduction of non-working days in March and self-isolation, car sales collapsed. ”

According to the representative of the car dealer, those who planned to purchase cars already realized their plans at the end of the first quarter. This explains the rush demand for cars in March.


According to Dmitry Sauer, a leading specialist for the development of the Toyota Center Vladivostok (Summit Motors LLC), now there is some lull in the automotive market, and there is a typical pre-crisis situation in the auto retail sector.

“There is a lull in the market. This means that those who have the money are buying cars right now, fearing further price increases due to rising currencies, ”said Dmitry Sauer.

At the same time, he notes that there was a pretty good traffic traffic to the site of the car dealer company. Now the company plans to organize online car sales.

“In principle, sales are now relatively good. This is especially true for Vladivostok. In Khabarovsk, where we also have a car dealership, sales are 1,5 times lower. We have such a situation with both Toyota and Lexus, ”Sower added.

In the Vostok group of companies specializing in working with such brands as GAZ, UAZ, Hundai and Lada, they said that they felt quite well and, in general, their sales continued, despite the crisis.

“We are now introducing distance selling. Although I can note that in April we had good performance indicators. As for prices, we do not plan to raise them yet. Despite the jumps in currencies, our price has not changed. Also, cars are bought from us using state subsidies according to various programs to support the population, ”the company noted.

An employee of the dealer company also added that it is now difficult to predict whether sales will fall or not. According to him, the likelihood of a crisis in the autoretail is 50%.

Dmitry Sauer notes that according to the forecasts of the Summit Motors sales department, the retail market will begin to recover around June. At the same time, he will reach the pre-crisis state in September 2020.

“In this matter, I agree with the forecasts of the head of the Russian Automobile Dealers Oleg Moseev, the drop in sales of new cars by the end of 2020 will be at least 30% compared to 2019,” concluded Sergey Nisnevich.



According to the Far Eastern Customs Administration, in 2019, a temporary procedure that allows residents of the Far East to import cars without installing the ERA-GLONAS system allowed to increase the import volume of imported foreign cars by 28%. 62% of this volume of cars imported by individuals. With the introduction of coronavirus restrictions, market participants evaluate the situation differently.

Sales manager of Japan Dome, a company specializing in the sale of cars from Japanese auctions, Igor Vasiliev said that demand for cars remained unchanged. However, initially everyone was counting on price changes due to currency fluctuations.

“The Japanese car market is adjusting to Russia, which is one of the main buyers of the local auto industry. In principle, there are not many countries that buy cars in Japan. As for prices, after the sharp rise of the American dollar this spring, the cost of cars really went up. Soon, prices began to adjust, the Japanese made concessions to the Russians, ”said the specialist.

A native of Yakutsk, Viktor Romanov, has been selling cars at the Green Corner car market in Vladivostok since 1996. The entrepreneur notes that Russia accounts for about 10% of the secondary market of the Japanese automobile industry, and the fact that car prices have not risen are “fairy tales for luring customers”.

“It is unlikely that the Japanese will adapt to us. At least, I personally do not see this, because prices have grown, ”added Romanov.

According to him, the demand for cars has remained the same, because people will always need cars: they need to be changed, and people will do it while they have the opportunity.

“As for us, private traders, it becomes harder every year. Trading on Zelenka is now not as profitable as it was ten years ago, ”the entrepreneur said.       

He noted that recently, duties on old cars have grown significantly. State measures in his opinion most of all harm his business.

“In November, the duty amounted to about 180 thousand for a car with an approximate value of one million rubles, in March, duties increased to 220 thousand rubles, because they are calculated in euros. How do we feed ourselves? The president is not talking about this. Although how many of these crises we have survived cannot be counted, ”concluded the entrepreneur.

At the same time, sellers of right-hand drive cars may soon encounter new problems: on July 1, the new GOST of the technical regulation of the Customs Union, adopted by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), will come into force. According to new requirements, the import and registration of right-hand drive cars in Russia will become significantly more complicated.

The country will ban the import of M2 and M3 right-hand drive vehicles, which include passenger buses, dump trucks, construction machinery and loaders. From July, the procedure for importing and passing customs for cars with right-hand drive will also noticeably become more complicated. The import duty will be from 1,5 euros / cubic meter. cm to 5,7 euros / cubic cm depending on age and engine size.

However, according to economist Nikita Maslennikov, such “anti-crisis” measures will not break the automotive business in the Far East.

“Among the anti-crisis measures that we have, one of the most popular is the ban on the import of right-hand drive cars. However, there will always be demand for them, and this makes it possible to earn certain groups of the population in the Far East. Anyone who wants to, still buy such a car. In every crisis, this happens with a different kind of failure, ”said Nikita Maslennikov.

According to representatives of car dealers, their companies are exclusively engaged in sales of left-hand drive cars, since they obey the laws of the Russian Federation.

“As for the restrictions on the import of right-hand drive cars, this situation did not begin yesterday, everything has been going on for about ten years. The market for cars brought from Japan has shrunk and is operating virtually unchanged. Right-hand drive sellers clearly know their segment. They have occupied their niche, and the customer supports them by buying such machines, believing in their extraordinary quality. On the "Green Corner" there is even such an expression "imperial quality" - as cars with right-hand drive are designated there. Left-hand drive are considered to be a fake Japanese auto industry, even though they were not produced at the same factory, ”Dmitry Sauer added.

According to another representative of dealers, Sergei Nisnevich, for several years now, the Primorye market has seen a tendency to move from “right-hand drive” to dealer cars, and the changes that will be introduced after July 1 will once again intensify the ongoing processes.

“But I do not think that radical changes will not happen overnight. Cars imported before the introduction of restrictions will be sold and, accordingly, will be included in the statistics for a long time, ”said Sergey Nisnevich.

Right-hand drive car dealers themselves are extremely unhappy with the new rules for importing cars from Japan. They believe that it is impossible to leave the Far East without such cars - they are not only high-quality, but also affordable.

“For the money that they ask for left-hand drive new cars, you can buy several premium Japanese women with minimal mileage. And people will buy cars brought from Japan for a long time to come. These cars are affordable and do not break for a long time. And people here do not earn much to afford a budget hatchback, ”the entrepreneur said.

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