The European Union on Friday, June 23, published the 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The automotive industry has also been included in the new list of restrictions. This time, the EU banned the import of all new and used cars with an engine capacity of more than 1.9 liters, as well as electric and hybrid models. Of course, new restrictions will complicate the situation in the automotive industry, but there will definitely be loopholes.
The main flow of cars comes to Russia from the east. In total, our country now has at least six main supply channels through which imports are carried out mainly by the parallel import mechanism. We will not advertise them. And official deliveries come exclusively from China. But here, too, not everything is so clear-cut — in this country there is a large segment of parallel imports of brands to Russia, for which there are no bilateral agreements yet. But Europe should not be put an end to either: large purchases have been ordered for legal entities, but all roads are open to individuals, they have not been closed. That is why now many people go to the EU countries and buy cars. But, despite the relatively well-established parallel imports with some brands and their models, there are problems. This is especially true for the premium and luxury segments. Many manufacturers monitor where their products go and have mechanisms in place to penalize sellers for violating sanctions. But here the sanctions will not affect the situation in any way – this moment remains the same as it was from last year. It is now difficult to predict to what extent the new restrictions will affect car imports, since the mechanism of their action is not yet clear, there are no exact legal formulations. But theoretically, China and other countries friendly to Russia could come under pressure from Europe – such a possibility is spelled out in the new package of sanctions. True, there will always be “laying countries”. As a result, already complex supply chains will become more complicated, and this will affect the final price. But it is important to understand that it is impossible to completely stop imports and cut Russia off from supplies. Yes, it will be more difficult to import cars. But even against the general unfavorable political background, companies from the Celestial Empire are active in the domestic market: they import new cars and negotiate the import of used models. Of course, you will have to get used to new car brands until the consumer has developed confidence in them. According to my calculations, now in Russia there are about 50 million used foreign cars – both for sale and in possession. Even with the most gloomy forecasts, this amount is enough for the market to function and for citizens to have something to drive. Therefore, we can safely say that Russia will not be left without cars. Sanctions are sanctions, but let’s look at the current situation from a business point of view: foreign companies will not sacrifice their income under any circumstances. Everyone understands perfectly well that the withdrawal of concerns is dictated not by a moral and ethical dilemma, but by the fear of restrictions. Russia is a large and promising market that brings a stable income. Therefore, I think that all the departed brands are now just hiding and looking for loopholes to continue doing their business in our country. One way or another, it is beneficial for them to work with us, it is enough just to motivate them correctly by offering big money. And Russians love cars and are ready to spend money on them.
The author is the founder of the automotive marketplace Fresh
The position of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author