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How has the Ukrainian car market changed after a full-scale invasion?


The 37th day of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops lasts. Our lives have changed dramatically. The war also affected the Ukrainian car market, which also changed. Most likely — irrevocably. Experts from the Automotive Market Research Institute described the key changes and trends in it.

As the Service Centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs temporarily did not register the agreement of purchase and sale of vehicles, exact data on the activity on the car market are also temporarily unavailable. However, the experts used data from the AUTO.RIA marketplace, which shows the general picture of the Ukrainian car market.

Key changes that have taken place

  1. A significant number of cars were damaged, destroyed or left the territory of Ukraine. According to preliminary estimates of experts, at least 500,000 vehicles have been irretrievably lost, and another 300,000 have left Ukraine. In total , more than a million cars left the active part of the car market.
  2. Demand for vehicles has not decreased — on the contrary, for some models, it could at some point exceed supply. As a result, the number of offers for the sale of used cars (within AUTO.RIA) has halved : from 160 thousand in February to 85 thousand today.
  3. The offer to sell cars is mostly maintained in regions where active hostilities do not continue. Lviv region was the leader. Currently, 11,000 cars are sold in the region, which is 13% of the total number of ads on this resource.
  4. The price structure of the market has not changed : most Ukrainians are still interested in cars worth $ 5-8 thousand.
  5. The rating of the most popular models has changed significantly. Previously popular models have disappeared from the «tops», which in the usual conditions were almost repeated from month to month. The greatest interest of buyers was traced to Mercedes-Benz Vito. This can be explained by practicality and versatility, which are very important in wartime.
  6. The number of offers for the sale of new cars has significantly decreased, and some car dealerships have temporarily closed. However, there is activity in the market. At AUTO.RIA, dealers offer 763 cars for sale.
  7. The automotive industry in Ukraine has virtually stopped. The number of cars manufactured by the method of large-scale assembly at Ukrainian plants and before the full-scale invasion was small, about 1,000 cars a month. A center for assistance to internally displaced persons has been set up at the «Eurocar» from Zakarpattya region, where Škoda cars were manufactured using the SKD method. Continuation of the Zaporizhzhia Automobile Plant in general is a big question, because the cars there were assembled from Russian car kits.
The number of car sales in the regions of Ukraine on AUTO.RIA, as of April 1, 2021

What to expect in the future?

In conditions of war, it is impossible to make an accurate forecast, because we are in conditions of complete uncertainty, and the situation may change at any time. Therefore, experts have identified global trends that are likely to occur in the future and that will change after our victory.

  1. Worldview changes in the perception of cars. After cars rescued hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, allowing them to evacuate from particularly hot spots, and hundreds of thousands of tons of volunteer aid, the typical Soviet «luxury car» will be a thing of the past. The car will finally be perceived simply as a means of transportation and work.
  2. Temporary abolition of customs duties during martial law (the law has already been passed, we are waiting for the Presidentʼs signature), and liberalization of imports after the victory. Affordable transport will be needed to rebuild the economy and develop small and medium-sized businesses.
  3. Lost and destroyed cars will be replaced by imported ones from abroad.
  4. Rising fuel prices will affect the popularity of certain models. Demand for fuel-efficient cars will grow.
  5. The number of used Soviet and Russian cars will decrease. The decline in popularity will be affected by both rising fuel prices and possible difficulties with the supply of spare parts. Especially the process will be facilitated by cheaper customs clearance of used cars from abroad.
  6. Demand for new cars may be low due to the general decline in the purchasing power of Ukrainians, as well as the lack of lending and leasing programs.
  7. «Eurocar» will be able to resume operations among Ukrainian car companies. Enterprises engaged in large-scale assembly of machines from Russian machine kits will have to either urgently change the business model or cease operations permanently.

Of course, the theses described are only assumptions based on the experience of our experts. The conditions of the war can be adjusted. The priority is to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine, preserve the life and health of Ukrainians. And then — cars. However, sometimes a car is an opportunity to survive or earn a living. And after the Victory, we will definitely solve all the problems in the car market.

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