It's a question that's been asked time and time again: Why are there no Russian cars in the United States? There are plenty of Russian brands out there, so why haven't any of them made it big in the US?
There are a few reasons for this, the first being that the Russian car market is still relatively small. In 2016, only 3.2 million vehicles were sold in the whole of Russia, compared to 17.5 million in the US. This means that there just aren't as many Russian cars on the roads, and so fewer people are exposed to them.
Even if there were more Russian cars on the roads, it's unlikely that they would be successful in the US. The Russian car market is very different to the US market, and so Russian cars would need to be significantly redesigned to be able to compete. This would be a costly and time-consuming process, and so it's not really worth it for the brands.
Russian cars just haven't had the same level of exposure in the US as their Japanese or European counterparts. In Russia, the car industry is dominated by a few large companies, chief among them AvtoVAZ, the maker of the Lada. Ladas were once popular in the US, but they fell out of favor in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This is largely due to their poor quality and reliability. In recent years, however, AvtoVAZ has made strides in improving the quality of its cars, and the Lada is once again starting to gain some traction in the US market. Still, it's going to be an uphill battle for AvtoVAZ to make a significant dent in the US market share.
Another reason why Russian cars haven't been as popular in the US is that they just don't have the same kind of appeal as their Japanese or European counterparts. Russian cars tend to be bulky and boxy, and they just don't have the same kind of look appeal as a sleek Japanese sports car or a curvaceous European sedan.
And then there's the whole issue of price. Russian cars are generally much cheaper than their Japanese or European counterparts, but they also tend to be less well-equipped and less reliable. So, while Russian cars may be getting better, they still have a long way to go before they can compete with the likes of Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen in the US market.
Finally, there's the issue of perception. Russian brands don't have the best reputation in the US, thanks to the country's political and economic situation. This makes it difficult for Russian brands to break into the US market, even if they were able to overcome the other challenges.
So, it looks like we won't be seeing any Russian cars on US roads any time soon. That's a shame, as there are some really great Russian brands out there. But for now, it looks like the US market just isn't ready for them.