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The reason is the high key rate, which makes loans unprofitable. Maintaining it at the current level can lead to a normalization of the cost of cars and even to “price wars” among manufacturers – a consistent reduction in prices against the backdrop of intense competition. Andrei Olkhovsky, general director of the Avtodom dealer holding, told Izvestia about this.

The current key rate of 16 percent or its increase could result in stagnation of the automobile market, which will lead to “price wars,” Olkhovsky believes. On the contrary, a rate cut will result in higher prices, as demand for cars will jump due to more attractive loans.

At the same time, there is a factor that will lead to a progressive increase in the price of cars. This is a new procedure for calculating payment for the import of cars undergoing customs clearance in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia). Now such cars, which have, for example, passed through customs in Kyrgyzstan, cost about 30 percent less than those offered by official sellers. From April, underpaid taxes will be taken into account as part of the recycling fee, which is obligatory for payment by both individuals and legal entities.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia, at which the key rate will be discussed, will be held on March 22. Experts expect the rate to remain at the same level for now, and some even predict an increase to 17 percent.

Meanwhile, Russians’ spending on new cars began to grow again after the traditional January drop. In February, 328 billion rubles were spent – almost 90 billion more than in January. However, the figure still does not reach the level of December 2023. Chinese brands are the leaders in terms of revenue.

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