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November Car Sales Reach 2-Year High

Russian new car sales rose 80 percent in November, the most in two years, as the economy rebounded and the government extended its rebate program for used vehicles, the Association of European Businesses said Wednesday.

 Sales of automobiles and light trucks reached 189,902 vehicles last month, pushing the year-to-date total to 1.7 million, or 28 percent more than for the same period last year, the association said in a statement.

Sales may reach 1.9 million units this year, which is “significantly beyond any previous forecasts,” David Thomas, chairman of the AEB’s automobile-manufacturers committee, said in an e-mailed statement.

The government is spending at least 21.5 billion rubles ($687 million) this year on cash incentives for automobile purchases. Russia is following countries around the world that extended incentive programs to reverse slumps in car sales during the worst global slowdown since World War II.

“Clearly the scrappage scheme and improving credit availability have combined with increased consumer confidence to deliver growth across all segments and most brands,” Thomas said.

Foreign carmakers including Volkswagen, Ford Motor and Toyota Motor are increasing output in Russia and rolling out new models as the country’s economy expands.

The four best-selling models through November are all Ladas, made by AvtoVAZ, the country's largest automaker, followed by Ford’s Focus and Renault’s Logan, which are made in Russia.

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