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New Car Sales for May Fell 12%, Report Says

A new Lada model being unveiled at a dealership forecourt.

New cars sold in Russia dropped by 12 percent in May compared with the same month last year, the Association of European Businesses, or AEB, said Monday in a statement.

Only 201,487 new vehicles were sold last month, 28,019 fewer than in May 2013, according to the AEB's Automobile Manufacturers Committee.

The domestic market for new cars has been badly affected by Russia's weak economy and the uncertainty caused by the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

May's results marked a continuation of the weak sales trend widely anticipated for the whole second quarter of the year, committee chairman Jörg Schreiber was quoted as saying in the statement.

In addition, the market dynamics for April and May closely resembled those of the same period last year, "marking two consecutive years of sales decline," he added.

Just over 1 million new cars were sold in Russia between January and May — 6 percent less than in the first four months of 2013.

The industry consensus is that this downward trend will continue, but the AEB is hedging its bets until June's sales figures come in before trying to predict where the market is heading in the second half of 2014, Schreiber said.

Nine of Russia's top 10 models of cars sold are produced domestically, the statement said.

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