The auto business is based not only on the sale of cars, but also on maintenance, the owners are literally “tied” to the dealers with a guarantee and are forced to be serviced at official service centers. But now many European manufacturers have announced their withdrawal from Russia. Renault sold two of its plants, the Russian conveyors of Volkswagen and BMW were stopped. Someone cut off the supply of both the cars themselves and spare parts.
As Denis, the owner of the BMW fifth series, told Novye Izvestia, not so long ago he carried out scheduled maintenance of his car. But I had to buy filters and spare parts myself.
“The official service center told me on which website and what spare parts to order,” said the BMW owner, “these were not original spare parts, but made in Italy. They were brought in, put them in the service, everything is fine.
The owner of the Audi Q7, Dmitry, said that he did not have a quest with the search for spare parts, but the cost of maintenance has tripled.
“Last year, scheduled maintenance cost 30 thousand rubles, this year they asked for 90. The car is under warranty, so I had to pay,” he complained.
The problem is confirmed by the owner of a car service from St. Petersburg, the founder of the klupp of independent service stations Alexander Pakhomov. According to him, the easiest way to resolve the issue is with oil and technical fluids, since they are also produced in friendly countries. Similar story with filters. The materials for them are produced by only a few companies in the world, so the final product, if it is not an outright fake, will be of the same quality as the original.
“A full-fledged repair is another matter,” says Alexander Pakhomov, “it needs to be divided into two groups: restoration and locksmith. Optics and glasses are available from third-party manufacturers, but there are still questions about body elements. Probably decent options will appear soon, but so far what comes from China does not always even fit the size. But if there is a demand, I think there will be a manufacturer. As for locksmith repairs, then with the search for quickly wearing parts: pads, discs, shock absorbers, etc. no big problems. Difficult with electronic components, motor controllers, etc. Here they are not found from third-party manufacturers. They are not supplied directly.
According to Alexander Pakhomov, each client with such a request is a difficult task that is solved individually. The easiest and most obvious way is to find the right part at a car parsing, where they sell spare parts from broken cars. After the desired part has been found, it will also have to be reprogrammed for your car.
“In addition, such spare parts can still be ordered through large distributors, but the delivery time is very long, at least a month,” the expert says, “another option is to find someone on the other side who will buy such a spare part as for himself and will bring to Russia. In St. Petersburg, for example, there are many people with Finnish passports or relatives in this country. These paths have always existed. But for the sake of fairness, it must be said that manufacturers are struggling with all the ways to circumvent sanctions. We saw that in Kazakhstan the volume of consumption of spare parts increased several times, and they began to limit supplies. It's the same in Turkey".
Alexander Pakhomov notes that the demand for car service surged this spring, but now remains at the usual level.
“You can’t breathe for the future, if you have already serviced the car this year, then it makes no sense to do it in a month,” he says, “in the spring there was a rush and people sold out oil, filters, etc. Now they are coming with it to MOT. We see that the market has grown in rubles, because everything has risen in price, both spare parts and work. Growth for components from 10 to 80% depending on brands and specific products. But nothing has changed in the number of clients”.
To remove the problem with spare parts, and with machines, such a tool as parallel import is called upon. But, as the Association of Russian Automobile Dealers admitted, this process is only being adjusted, and no one can guarantee that the required part will be delivered.
“Since the end of February, due to the break in supply chains, the halt in the supply of new cars and parts through official channels, the Russian market has faced two key questions: where to get new cars and where to bring spare parts? The deficit formed in auto retail in 2020-21 has now been supplemented by sanctions that worsened the economic situation in the country and, as a result, reduced purchasing activity, which led to an unprecedented decline in the market for new cars, ROAD told Novye Izvestia. - In the spring, the association turned to automakers with a request to give a clear answer about the situation around the supply of spare parts and the possibility of using their analogues. Almost all of them assured us that they were making every possible effort to resume deliveries, but no one could give guarantees on the timing, and customer cars need to be serviced and repaired now. At the same time, we turned to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade with a proposal to consider the parallel import of spare parts as a temporary measure that would allow servicing our customers' cars on time. Now, in the direction of spare parts, we have managed to achieve the removal of the bureaucratic restriction on the mandatory presentation of certificates belonging to the holders of trademark rights, that is, importers. One way or another, the lack of parts has not yet been eliminated. At present, we cannot say with certainty that tomorrow our client will have a complete list of both spare parts and cars of the desired brands and configurations”.
According to one of the dealership executives interviewed, no one on the market has yet been able to set up full-fledged parallel deliveries of spare parts.
“Among the large dealer companies, I do not know those who would have already established parallel imports. That is, everyone is now at the stage of working out these processes. This is partly due to the fact that there are some warehouses, not everything is completely empty. There is still some time to look. Dealer companies have quite high requirements for the legal aspects of their business. That is, we have something to lose, and we do not want to lose it,” the source said.
According to State Duma deputy Valery Gartung, the situation with the supply of spare parts is much simpler than with the supply of entire vehicles.
“Companies that previously dealt with deliveries from China and Turkey came to the rescue,” the deputy said. - Previously, foreign manufacturers did not welcome working with them, but now there are no such restrictions, and suppliers of non-original spare parts have significantly increased the volume of deliveries. The situation with complex spare parts, in principle, is not much different. Manufacturers who have stopped production in Russia, for the most part, continue warranty support. It's not all smooth sailing, but you don't have to choose yet. All the same, problems with these spare parts are not widespread, but if such a situation arises, you can always find another supplier who can solve this problem. Yes, it will take more time and money, but there is no hopeless situation”.
According to Valery Gartung, the official car market is now on the brink. It is hit by the lack of cars and the fall in consumer demand. And parallel import does not help him yet. The only straw the dealers have found is the price. It has grown so that now the dealer receives a margin from the sale of one car, which he previously received from ten. There are not many people who want to buy new cars at such prices, but dealers believe that those who need it will buy at exorbitant prices.
“Prospects for the industry are very illusory,” says the deputy, “there will definitely not be new cars from abroad in those volumes. Many dealerships will simply close. This was the case with GM centers in 2015, when the American company closed its production facilities in Russia. Dozens of GM dealerships went bankrupt. The state, as it were, did not notice this situation, did not provide any support measures to companies. Now everything is the same, only on a global scale: with almost all global manufacturers. And of course, in such a situation, state assistance is needed. There are more than 3,000 dealer companies in Russia, employing an average of at least 100 employees. These businesses are trying to bide their time and somehow stay afloat by increasing – sometimes doubling – the prices of the cars they have left”.
Easing import duties on cars would be a significant help, Hartung said.
“Yes, in April the government issued an order on parallel imports, but this did not change the situation in any way, since the issue of how a legal entity can obtain a PTS without a vehicle type approval (OTTS), which cannot be obtained without the consent of the manufacturer, has not been resolved, and he joined the sanctions . Only in July a decision was issued to abolish the OTTS for parallel imports. Until now, nothing has worked. And now efficiency under the big question . Since the organization that decides the issues of auto certification is determined by US. It is difficult to imagine how NAMI will cope with its responsibilities when applications are pouring in from all over the country from various companies. Moreover, the application is made separately for each car, and the period for full consideration with the issuance of the document is defined as 15 calendar days. How long it can actually take to process such applications is a big question”.
In addition, customs duties, including for used cars, require revision, as many companies have switched to importing used cars.
“The customs duty on a new car, the cost of its delivery give an increase in the cost of about 48%, plus an increased recycling fee of about 300 thousand rubles”, - says Valery Garturg. - How much does a Russian need to earn in order to afford to buy a new car? Therefore, importers are more likely to try to import used cars over three years old. In this case, customs duties are less. The government encourages littering the country with old cars. What is actually happening now, mainly used cars are imported, many car companies see their salvation only in this. At the moment, new cars are imported for individuals.
According to the deputy, now it is necessary to expand lending for parallel imports at 5% per annum, expand support measures for manufacturers of auto components, and subsidize investments. In addition, it is necessary to finance the development of eastern transport corridors to reduce the time and cost of delivering goods from China and Southeast Asia.
“It is necessary to remove currency restrictions from the accounts of individuals, this will allow private investments to be put into circulation,” the deputy says. “And, of course, we need to help the population maintain their standard of living, this is the main driver of demand!”