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Honda to quit Russian auto market in 2022 as demand slides

Official auto dealers in Russia will no longer receive new Honda cars starting from 2022, the subsidiary of the Japanese automaker has announced, explaining the move as part of its restructuring efforts.

Honda’s presence on the Russian market will be limited to motorcycle and power equipment sales, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday, as quoted by Russian media. It will continue to provide after-sales services to Honda owners.

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Russian car market becomes second largest in Europe

Despite the year-end race that brought some relief to automakers after sales were crippled by the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of the year, purchases of Honda cars in Russia plunged by 50 percent in November year-on-year, according to the Association of European Businesses. The company sold just 79 vehicles in the country last month, while overall sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles increased by 5.9 percent to reach 157,580.

Over 11 months this year, Honda sold 1,383 vehicles in Russia – 15 percent less than it did over the same period of 2019.

However, the Japanese company’s sales on the Russian auto market began declining even before the coronavirus crisis. In 2019, they dropped 64 percent year-on-year and amounted to just 1,836 cars. More than 1.7 million new cars were sold in Russia during that period.

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