Luxury car exports rise in Russia despite war

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Despite Western sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the number of luxury cars in the country increased significantly last year, according to an analysis of federal tax audit data reported by RBC news website. The number of cars with a price tag of 10 million rubles ($98,500) or more grew by 22% from 2021 to 2022, reaching a total of 19,800. This figure also represents a 250% increase from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Western sanctions, including bans on the export of luxury cars to Russia, did not reverse the upward trend in luxury car ownership. Demand for luxury cars in Russia remains stable because it is less price-dependent than the mass market, according to FinExpertiza President Yelena Trubnikova.

Despite the sanctions, Moscow and its surrounding region accounted for around half (9,800) of Russia’s luxury vehicles, followed by St. Petersburg with 2,000, based on the analysis using Federal Tax Service data. A total of 76 Russian regions saw increases in the number of luxury vehicles in 2022.

The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament had earlier announced that officials had agreed to switch from foreign-made cars to domestically produced vehicles.