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Russian car sales level off in November after steep fall Monday, 08 December, 2014

MOSCOW: Car sales in Russia practically stabilised in November after going into free fall in summer and autumn because of the crisis in Ukraine, industry figures published Monday said.

November saw sales of 229,439 cars, just 1.1 percent less than in November 2013. By contrast, in the summer months, car sales fell 20 to 30 percent year on year, and they were still down 10 percent year on year in October, the Association of European Businesses said in a report.

It attributed November's improved sales to a government cash-for-clunkers programme launched in September, and to people wanting to buy cars before anticipated price rises in the new year.

"Retail demand has been extraordinary in recent weeks, helped by government subsidies and consumers rushing to get ahead of widely anticipated new year price increases," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the Association of European Businesses automobile manufacturers' committee, was quoted as saying in the report.

Car sales over the first 11 months of 2014 are still down 11.6 percent year on year. The top-selling car make was Lada, and nine of the 10 top-selling models were produced in Russia.

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