Russian auto sales fell 4 pct in November - AEB


MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Russian car sales fell for a ninthstraight month in November, down 4 percent on the year, a lobbygroup for the industry said on Monday, although the decline wasan improvement on the 8 percent drop recorded in October.

Sales of Russian cars have fallen in 2013 as people holdback on large purchases in a faltering economy.

"No question, the total industry is still declining, albeitat a slower pace," said Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of theAssociation of European Businesses (AEB) AutomobileManufacturers Committee.

The AEB said 231,982 vehicles were sold last month. Sales ofnew cars and light commercial vehicles declined 6 percent inJanuary-November overall compared with the same time last year.

Schreiber said a long-awaited flattening of year-on-yearsales numbers had yet to happen.

"We hope December will show progress in this direction, anddeliver a decent close to an otherwise difficult year, " hesaid.

Schreiber last week forecast that Russian car sales may endthe year down 6 percent but will likely stabilise in 2014. Itwill publish its official forecast for 2014 in January.

The AEB in June cut its sales prediction for 2013 followingmonths of falling sales.

Western carmakers including General Motors, Ford, Renault and Fiat have invested heavilyin Russia.

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