What we drive


On the vast expanses of the steppes, forests and semi-deserts, fat herds of “Lada” graze freely, flocks of “Tavria” flock, and look, a picturesque group of “Volga” appeared on the horizon …



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The number of wheeled species is scrupulously calculated by the traffic police, annually noting offspring. Yes, despite the difficult current time (and when was it simple?), The Russian fleet is increasing. In 1999, nearly 20 million passenger cars were registered (24.7 million cars in total)! Consider how this lion's share has changed over the past three years. Diagram 1 clearly shows the famous event that took place in 1998, which sharply slowed down the migration of foreign cars. If that year the number of foreign cars increased by 27.6%, then in 1999 they became the largest by 3%! The chance given by the crisis was used by Russian car factories - the growth rate of our brands increased from 3.9 to 5.1%.

Naturally, the livestock is distributed unevenly - the largest herd, almost 2 million (one fifth of them are foreign cars) live in the capital, followed by the Moscow Region, Krasnodar Territory, St. Petersburg, and Rostov Region with a wide margin. The richest region for foreign cars, of course, is Primorsky, where of the 467, 673 registered cars almost 74% are foreign. In general, model layouts have their own regional specifics. The percentage of fresh cars is higher in the capital and wealthy areas. In terms of the share of foreign cars, in addition to the Primorsky Territory and Moscow, border regions, for example, the Leningrad Region, are leading. Many cars find shelter in their homeland, close to automobile capitals. Obviously, this is due to lower prices, the constant availability of inexpensive parts. So, in the Samara region more than 71% of registered cars are VAZs, while on average there are only 49% of them in the country. Less massive and once prestigious "Volga" were registered in the Nizhny Novgorod region more often than in other regions: there are less than 7% of them in the country, and 16.5% in the homeland.


Almost every second compatriot-motorist gave his savings for the products of the Volga plant (chart 2). Moreover, the unconditional leader - "Lada" - is related to most other families, alas, the advanced age of the structure. The Russian park is morally old - even relatively modern and seemingly numerous front-wheel drive VAZs are inferior in number to the old Muscovites …

Let's go over the fresh stamps. “Oka” never became popular - by the end of last year there were 155 thousand copies, a meager against the general background. Therefore, the small car was included in the "Other", along with very ancient models. VAZ 2110 had to be combined with the Samaras, otherwise their modest column with a height of only 158 thousand would have been lost in the diagram. Another new “ten” - “Volga” - made a modest contribution (203 thousand) to the total number of all GASes. The Zaporizhzhya Automobile Plant worked for thirty years on the field of rear-engine cars, which the traffic police now has more than a million; less time was allocated to Tavria, and as a result, of all ZAZs, it owns about 12%.

Front-wheel drive models appeared in the second half of the 80s, and by inertia we continue to consider them new … Is it because they are hardly noticeable in the total number of cars?

However, moral aging is not so bad. It is quite natural that a heavyweight mass of discontinued cars affects the distribution of all cars by years of production (chart 3). Almost half of the registered traffic police celebrated their 10th anniversary, but there is nothing to congratulate their owners on.


It would seem that the more data - the higher the reliability. However, this is not entirely true with respect to the traffic police database. Imagine how many incapacitated cars are listed in police computers. The skeletons of cars have long decayed on the roofs of garages, clog yards, grow into the ground on the outskirts, but since cars are not deregistered - dry statistics believe that they are still in service. If you get up at rush hour on a busy highway and try to track which cars your compatriots are driving, the picture is different than in diagram 2 - frank junk is much less.

Not “what we own”, but “what we drive” - this is the question to which the data of the road inspection give an inaccurate answer. But this is not the last resort!

We will depict the real picture … with your help. Almost 80 thousand respondents answered the questions of the last questionnaire “At the wheel” at the end of 1999. In total, our five-year database contains more than half a million addresses of domestic motorists. The vast majority of readers are active car users, that is, in our database there is significantly less “real estate”.

It is not difficult to verify this by comparing the information from the official information with the official information. In diagram 4, the distribution of the models looks more optimistic. The share of older brands has sharply declined - the old "Muscovites" and "Cossacks" have fun. At their expense, “Samaras” and “tens” energetically went up, which, in our opinion, correctly reflects reality. The championship is held by Lada - there are simply too many of them, and the price of new cars is low. The eternal "Volga" retained their positions, however, within this category the models were redistributed - the relatively fresh GAZ 3102 9 / "> GAZ 31029 and 3110 came forward. In general, the young - the road, the elderly - peace.

By the way, looking at the data on the regions, we find the same features as in the police base, and this once again confirms the correctness of the statistics “At the wheel”: for example, in Primorye, two-thirds of the park are foreign cars, and the capital, of course, is ahead of all in general the number of cars.

As food for thought, we offer you the thesis about the monotony of the Russian park. The contribution of Togliatti is so great that other manufacturers are lost in the shadow of the auto giant … VAZ is far from its competitors not because it is the best, but because it is big. The closest rivals came from abroad, but their share of 11% so far does not give a chance to catch up with the leader.


In the traffic police statistics, models of foreign production are collected under the comprehensive concept of a foreign car. The log database will help to open it (diagram 5). That's where the competition is! Between the closest rivals the gap does not exceed 3-4%. The preferences of our readers accurately reflect the all-Russian alignment. Ahead - the Japanese and Germans, reputed to be reliable, durable, comfortable. The Far East made a decisive contribution in increasing the share of the former, mainly by Toyota and Nissan. Of the German cars, obviously, the most favorable ratio of price and quality is the “Opel”. Among the manufacturers ahead is the Volkswagen group - Audi, which confirms the nationality of the brand in the amount of 21.1%.

It is unlikely that anyone will challenge the fact that most foreign cars fall into Russia already in adulthood. Look at the diagram - “Daewoo” and “Skoda”, which usually buy new, together take only 5%. Among the more reputable cars, the proportion of fresh ones is negligible, so young animals in the reserve of foreign cars are also in the corral for now …

Indirectly, this is confirmed by the data on the most popular models. For example, at Audi it is the 80th and 100th series discontinued, among the Opels the most popular are the Cadet and Ascona, of the Fords the veteran of the Sierra in the first place. By the way, the model layout gives occasion to repeat once again: the Russians prefer middle-class cars with one and a half-two-liter engines. They are more voluptuous and stronger than the lovely Europeans kids.


So, we drive quite old, mostly domestic cars. We choose from what is affordable and acceptable in quality. What are we going tomorrow? Readers helped answer this question - that active part of motorists who sent their profiles to the editor.

Define the youngest, most promising cars. Naturally, these are both “dozens” of VAZ and GAZ production. “Volga”, having transformed from a predominantly official to a personal car, is experiencing a surge in popularity - as many as 40% of all cars were produced in 1996–1999. But among older cars, the proportion of young people is high. For example, out of the “fields” listed in the “Driving” database, 36.4% were born in the last four years - the updated Togliatti all-terrain vehicle has returned to fashion after 24 (!) Years of release. In the “Oka” favorite - cars under four years old almost 60%. Near "Samara" - young growth "weighs" 43.9%. Here - hold on tight - UAZ! Almost a third of the jeeps were bought after 1996. Looking back at the Niva, we notice a trend - all-wheel drive is getting younger, experiencing a renaissance.

On the contrary, the affairs of the Muscovites are bad - for relatively new cars only 17.3%, and the bulk of them - 66.3% - was released from 1991 to 1996. In the middle between “aging” and “younger” brands, there are “Lada” at ease, evenly distributed over five-year periods: 20% each.

Among foreign cars, the vast majority was released in 1986–1990. There are few deviations: older than middle age, a noticeable part of BMWs and Mercedes cars is obviously only in their own old age do these cars cross the line of accessibility for Russians. In addition, their reliability plays a role, allowing you to stay on good track and 15-year-old cars.

I would very much like to predict a bright future: they say that tomorrow our park will be populated by energetic young animals - new modern cars. Alas, not tomorrow - there will be no sharp jump. Neither our factories with their relatively small annual production volumes, nor we, customers with not too thick wallets, can upgrade the livestock in two or three years. Therefore, foreign cars will remain in the minority. But we will support our factories. So, the revolution does not threaten the national park - it remains to hope that evolution will not be too slow.

1. Russian fleet of cars

over the past three years, pcs. (traffic police data).