Support The Moscow Times!

Russia's Luxury Car Imports Surge During Ukraine War 

Cars in Barvikha settlement near Moscow. Moskva News Agency

The number of luxury cars in Russia surged last year despite Western sanctions in retaliation to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the RBC news website reported Monday, citing an analysis of federal tax audit data.

The number of cars with a sticker price of 10 million rubles ($98,500) or more increased by 22% from 2021-2022, reaching an overall total of 19,800. The number also marks a 250% increase from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

“The upward trend could be reversed neither by the coronavirus crisis that broke out in 2020 nor by Western sanctions that restricted Russians’ access to the luxury segment in 2022 and led to a sharp price hike,” RBC cited the FinExpertiza consultancy as saying.

The United States, European Union, and Japan banned the export of luxury cars and other goods to Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s neighbors Georgia, Armenia, and Finland have since been accused of enabling the re-export of luxury cars into the country in violation of the sanctions.

Demand for luxury cars remains stable in Russia because it is less price-dependent than the mass market, FinExpertiza President Yelena Trubnikova told RBC.

Moscow and its surrounding region accounted for around half (9,800) of Russia’s luxury vehicles, followed by St. Petersburg with 2,000, according to the analysis based on Federal Tax Service data.

At least 76 Russian regions registered increases in the number of luxury vehicles last year, with the biggest percentage increases recorded in the republics of Kalmykia, Buryatia and Dagestan as well as the Amur region.

Individual owners were listed behind 12,800 luxury cars, while organizations accounted for the other 7,000.

Earlier this year, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament claimed that officials agreed to abandon their foreign cars in favor of domestic-made vehicles.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more