(Updates with AEB comment in second second paragraph)
Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Russian sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles rose 26 percent in September to 235,552 units from a year earlier, the Association of European Businesses in Moscow said.
Among the top ten bestselling models of passenger cars nine are produced in Russia, the AEB said today in an e-mailed statement.
Carmakers have benefited from a rebate program to stimulate demand for new vehicles produced in Russia in the first half of this year. In July, the government said it had distributed the final 600,000 certificates in its so-called cash-for-clunkers rebate program. The program helped sales rise 30 percent last year, according to the AEB.
“The 26 percent increase for the month of September is in line with our expectations of a slowing but still strong growth for the remainder of 2011,” David Thomas, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufactures Committee, said in the statement.“The full year forecast of 2.45 million cars and light commercial vehicles looks very achievable and the market prospects for the final quarter remain very positive with much approved credit availability and robust consumer confidence.”
Sales growth stalled at Tolyatti-based AvtoVAZ, Russia’s largest carmaker, whose Lada-brand cars had gained from the rebate program.
--Editors: Torrey Clark, Paul Abelsky
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