Ever since Lada started selling rebadged 60s-era Fiat designs in the early 70s, it has been the best selling car manufacturer in Russia. No other auto maker has managed to take a noticeable chunk out of its sales - until now. In November the Kia Rio was Russia’s best selling car, making it the first time a car made by anyone other than Lada topped the sales charts for nearly 50 years.
The reason? According to AvtoVAZ, Lada’s manufacturer, problems with suppliers meant that production of the Granta and Kalina had to be stopped for a few days, which naturally impacted the number of cars dealers were able to sell. That meant the Rio jumped into the top spot, selling 10,834 cars to the Granta’s 10,520.
Lada doesn’t need to worry that its rule over the Russian market is slipping, though; over the last 11 months the firm has sold 351,992 cars, almost exactly double the number of cars sold by second placed Kia.
The Russian economy has been hit hard in 2014, following economic sanctions placed on the country due to its alleged activities in Ukraine. The government has put incentives in place to encourage the local automotive industry, meaning Lada is in as good a place as any to survive the sales decline.