EXEED, Lixiang and TANK: Tatarstan auto premium turned into Chinese

EXEED, Lixiang and TANK: Tatarstan auto premium turned into Chinese
Photo: Реальное время

Chinese brands have captured 80% of the Russian premium car market. EXEED, Lixiang and TANK are the market leaders. Sales of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus in Russia are also growing, but their dynamics are significantly inferior to Chinese automakers. According to experts, cars from China will continue to strengthen their positions in 2024, and the traditional premium will be available in the used car segment. How the premium car market in Russia has changed and which brands are being bought in Tatarstan today — in the review of the analytical service of Realnoe Vremya.

Germans have left the chat

According to the results of February 2024, 13.6 thousand new passenger cars of the premium segment were sold on the Russian market, which is 3 times higher than in the same month of 2023, said Alexander Klimnov, an expert at Autostat Info. The share of premium cars increased to 13.1% against 12.3% in January 2024 and 10% in 2023.

Chinese brands and models — EXEED, Lixiang and TANK — have become the leaders. Voyah and Zeekr also entered the top 5. “Only after, they are followed by traditional German BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, and Japanese Lexus," Klimnov said. “China's Hongqi and Germany's Audi are also in the top 10.”

Top 10 premium car models in Russia in February 2024











248-fold increase




1033-fold increase




12-fold increase




66-fold increase
















17.5-fold increase





Data of Autostat Info

Premium car segment is growing more than the market

In Tatarstan, according to Autostat Info, about 400 premium cars of mainly Chinese brands were sold in February — sales increased 4 times compared to the same month last year. EXEED is also in the top 5 with 121 cars (+63.5%). TANK is in second place, Lixiang — in third.

Top 5 premium cars in Tatarstan in February











in 2023 — 0




82-fold increase




in 2023 — 0




in 2023 — 0

Data of Autostat Info

“In general, the growth in the Tatarstan market amounted to 77.9% (up to 4,534 units) in February, in January-February — by 58.9% (up to 7,833 units). Thus, the segment of premium cars has grown much more than the market as a whole," Alexander Klimnov emphasised.

In February, Chinese premium brands occupied at least 80% of the segment in Russia due to their replacement of former European, Japanese, Korean and American brands that left the market. The entire top five premium brands are occupied by Chinese companies.

Sales of the Russian brand Aurus in February amounted to 7 units (+75%), and in January-February — 18 units (an increase of 3.6 times).

German top three is the leader in the segment of used cars

In the segment of new premium cars, TTS sales increased by 40% compared to the previous year, the EXEED brand became the undisputed leader in 2023, followed by BMW and Audi, said Ruslan Shaikhlislamov, the commercial director of the Kazan division of TransTechService Group.

BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi continue to hold positions in the segment of used cars, followed by Lexus and Land Rover. According to Shaikhlislamov, there was no such drop in this segment, nevertheless, the dynamics over the past year is also positive — sales volumes increased by 36.4%.

“It is too early to talk about the restoration of the premium car market, we have not yet reached the level of 2021," says the commercial director of the Kazan division of TTS. “In general, we are seeing an increase in the service life, as well as a steady increase in the sales of premium brands in the secondary market. It is rapidly developing and becoming more civilised.”

He also noted that some premium brands from China began to enter the Russian market only in the second half of 2023, for example, TANK, Zeekr and Lixiang. Their share is likely to grow in the future.

Market was growing due to the “low base effect”

“The sales picture of the premium segment within the holding reflects the situation in Russia. We have almost tripled our sales volume, largely due to the presence of the TANK and EXEED brands, which account for almost 60% of transactions," said Rita Khalilova, the sales director of KAN AVTO Group.

“If we talk about the usual premium in our portfolio, the situation is not obvious everywhere. For example, the sales of Mercedes-Benz decreased by only 20% (107 against 134 units a year earlier), Toyota's negative dynamics is stronger — sales decreased by 45% (104 against 193 cars)," says Khalilova. “There is a logical explanation for this — manufacturers completely or partially stopped supplying their cars to the Russian market, and parallel imports at the initial stage required some debugging of processes and at the moment simply could not replace the volume of previously supplied official cars.”

The sales portfolio of KAN AVTO was replenished with Lexus cars (slightly inferior to the results of Mercedes-Benz and Toyta) and Cadillac, as well as Lixiang and Zeekr electric vehicles. “The sales volume of electric vehicles is certainly lower than of traditional cars, but we feel the active interest of consumers in this area, and the statistics of the all-Russian figures confirm this," Rita Khalilova notes. “For example, 14,053 pure electric trains were sold in Russia in 2023 (+373% compared to last year), and hybrids — 21,293 units (+220% compared to last year). The average share of such cars is still about 2% of total sales, but it will definitely grow.”

“If we talk about the market as a whole, the demand for new cars in Russia increased by 69% by the end of 2023. At the same time, the sales of premium segment cars increased by more than 2 times. Of course, with an eye to what belongs to the premium," the sales director of KAN AVTO emphasises.

In 2022, 46,472 premium cars were sold in Russia, and in 2023, 102,663 units were already sold, including brands that were little or not sold at all in 2022: EXEED, TANK, Voyah, Lixiang, Zeekr, Hongqi.

The main reason for the growth, according to the expert, was the effect of a low base: in 2022, the sales of new cars sank significantly due to the withdrawal of many automakers from the market and a shortage of cars. At the same time, from the second half of the year, many players (including KAN AVTO) began to import cars using parallel import schemes.

Traditional premium is becoming expensive and economically unjustified

“In 2023, the transformation of domestic automotive market as a whole continued, including in the premium car segment. It is caused by the cessation of work in the country of many well-known automakers and the arrival of new brands on the market, mainly from China. The share of premium class cars amounted to about 8-11% of the total number of cars sold in the country in 2023, but this was mainly due to brands new to the market, sales of well-known traditional brands of premium class cars continued to decline," Dmitry Baranov, a leading expert at Finam Management, commented on the situation.

In 2024, the Chinese will continue to strengthen their position in the market. Brands that have left Russia will retain their adherents, but it will become more difficult and expensive to buy them. The sales of used cars will increase, as well as the purchase of components for them, which will have to be bought in other countries, will increase.

According to Baranov's forecasts, in 2024, the premium segment will be affected by the difficult economic situation and changes in consumer incomes. “Even the fact that premium buyers do not need to raise credit funds for this, it is possible that some of them may apply for loans, and some owners of premium class cars will refuse to change them in 2024," the analyst believes.

Yulia Garaeva