New-car registrations in Russia increased 15% in May, the third consecutive month of higher sales after years of poor sales due to US and EU sanctions.
Registrations rose to 124,990 vehicles, said the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses in Russia (AEB), Automotive News Europe reported on Friday.
The increase in sales is a sign that the market is beginning to emerge from a four-year downturn. Five-month sales are up 5.1% to 577,449 boosted by an increase in locally produced vehicles.
Joerg Schreiber, AEB chairman, said in a statement that "the positive sales trend is carried by a majority of market players."
This was an important enabler for the recovery to turn into a lasting trend, he added.
Sales at market-leader Lada rose 22% in May, while volume at Kia, the country's second most-popular brand, rose by 26%. Third-placed Hyundai jumped 13%. Renault, in fourth place, saw registrations rise 22%, while sales at fifth-ranked Toyota grew 15%.
Among other key automakers, Volkswagen brand sales rose 28%, while Ford's registrations were up 12% and Nissan gained 7%.
AEB has said it expects sales to grow by 4% this year as Russia rebounds from its economic woes. However, recent developments in locally produced vehicles show signs that the country is relying less on foreign imports after previous growth in this sector.