ESSEN, Germany, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Automotive industry researcher R. L. Polk said Friday that Russia will become Europe's largest market for new cars by 2010.
The forecast is based on an upswing in new automobile registrations in Russia and stagnating sales in other European countries, the report said.
Exceeding 2 million for the first time, new car registrations in Russia reached 2.35 million in 2007 with new car sales topping 1 million in each of the past 5 years, the researcher said.
Polk estimated new car registrations to hit 3.7 million by 2010, a 60 percent increase.
"For Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia and Chevrolet, Russia represents the strongest European market in terms of sales," said industry analyst Ulrich Winzen.
While demand for cars is on the upswing in Russia, AvtoVAZ, maker of the best-selling Russian car Lada, has seen its share of the market declining in recent years, falling from 70 percent of the market in 2002 to 27 percent of the market in 2007, the report said.