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Russia's Avtovaz says sales down 46% as domestic market share rises

The logo of Lada is pictured on a car produced by the Russian automaker Avtovaz during the 2018 Moscow International Auto Salon in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian car maker Avtovaz said on Tuesday that it had registered an almost 50% drop in sales in 2022, even as its share of the Russian car market reached 27.9%, up from 21% in 2021.

In a statement, Avtovaz said it saw Russia's car market shrinking by 59% to 676,000 new cars sold in 2022, while its own sales were down 46%, at 188,645 cars.

Russia's automotive sector has been roiled by unprecedented sanctions imposed by Western countries after Moscow ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine last February.

Western brands including Renault and Volkswagen have pulled out of Russia, while Chinese and Iranian competitors have announced plans to enter the Russian market.

Avtovaz, the country's largest car maker, furloughed workers at its plants in Izhevsk and Togliatti as supply chains broke down. It has since relaunched production of certain brands of Ladas, stripped of certain features that depend on imported components.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)