While car sales in Russia have fallen 50% this year, thanks largely to the global recession, one brand saw its fortunes rise. Hummer has doubled its year-over-year sales to more than 900 vehicles even as the rest of Russian auto sales tanked.
This may not sound like a lot by American standards, but Russia is a country where the average wage is the equivalent of $600 a month and gas averages $2.60 per gallon. Russia’s 900 vehicles more than doubles the number of Hummers sold in the rest of Europe combined. Hummer sold 777 units in the U.S. in August.
Hummer is becoming the brand of choice for the affluent who want a way to show off their conspicuous consumption. The Hummer Club of Russia, for instance, now includes 800-plus members. Russian Hummer dealers report that most buyers pay cash for their vehicles.
However, analysts see this growth as an errant spike fueled by the rich and unsustainable in the long run. The market for Hummers will hit a saturation point at which everyone who wants and can afford a Hummer will have one, the analysts say.