Russians say "da!" to driving

The Russian automotive market is one of the fastest growing in the world, new report says.

A poster for Russian car company Autovaz Autovaz

A new report by Research and Markets says Russians are snapping up cars at a proportionately faster rate than much of the rest of the world.

The report predicts that sales of new passenger cars will increase more than 20 percent a year in the coming years. The sale of spare parts is expected to grow nearly 15 percent annually.

According to a separate 2006 report by political commentator Alexander Yurov, more than 1.5 million cars are sold in Russia every year. Yurov estimates the figure will be closer to 2 million cars by 2008.

The Research and Markets report says "most of the growth is expected in the segment of foreign brands." So although Russian-made cars still dominate that country's market, it looks like those days might be numbered. There is already evidence to that effect: In 2005, the number of foreign cars brought into Russia increased almost by 50 percent over the previous year.

So who can rattle off the names of any major Russian car manufacturers anyway? Not I. Yurov says the biggest is AvtoVAZ, which sells more than 700,000 cars in Russia every year.

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