Demand for new cars rose in Russia last month, with sales surging as much as 3.4 percent compared to the same period last year, while growing coronavirus uncertainties still affect the auto industry in many European countries.

Russian customers bought over 154,400 new cars and light commercial vehicles in September, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB) data. The previous month marked another positive result for the Russian car market, which started showing signs of recovery at the beginning of this quarter. In July, car sales were up around seven percent, but the growth did not continue in August, with purchases falling 0.5 percent. Despite the drop,the Russian car market was recognized as Europe’s second largest at the end of summer.

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While total sales advanced in September, registrations in the first nine months were still down by almost 14 percent from the same span a year ago.

Industry leaders and analysts say that last month’s increased demand could be linked to growing coronavirus uncertainties and the state of Russia’s national currency, the ruble. The ruble fell around seven percent against the dollar and was down around five percent against the euro for the last month.

“Continued fall in the ruble exchange rate certainly supports the increased demand for cars,” Artyom Zyabin, the head of the analytical department at one of the country’s largest dealerships, Avtomir, said as cited by Russian media. (RT)