News: UK car brand Rolls-Royce hopes its Wraith model will improve sales in Russia, despite a potential increase in premium car tax, Automotive News reports. Rolls-Royce sells roughly 100 cars annually in the country, but doubled sales when the Ghost was launched in 2009. It hopes the Wraith will perform similarly. If the tax rate is approved, tax on luxury vehicles costing more than US$154,700 will be at least doubled after January 1 2013. However, the carmaker still believes that demand will be high in Russia, due to the large number of young businessmen with disposable income.
BMI View: Looking at sales trends over the first four months of 2013, Russian new light vehicle sales were down by 2.2% y-o-y, at 862,298 units. April was a particularly poor month for the sector, with sales reportedly down 8%, at just 245,334 units.