Russian new-vehicle sales drop 8% in April, and the industry doesn’t believe the market will recover enough during the rest of the year to match the record levels of 2012.

The Association of European Businesses’ automobile manufacturers committee says last month’s deliveries of 245,334 units lowered the year-to-date result 2% to 862,298.

Committee Chairman Joerg Schreiber says April sales in Russia market typically exceed the March level by 6%, as occurred in the previous two years.

“This year we see basically no uplift, showing the relative weakness of retail contracting in the first quarter,” he says in a statement. “April did not surprise...and it is becoming evident that it will be very difficult for the market to catch up to the record level of sales achieved in the first half of 2012.”

The AEB says it will release an updated full-year forecast in June.

Lada continued to dominate the Russian market despite an April result down 12% to 44,100 units, ahead of Renault, up 7% to 19,178, and Kia, up 6% to 18,303.

Chevrolet finished the month in fifth place with deliveries slipping 6% to 16,083 units, while Ford was eighth as sales tumbled 30% to 8,635. Opel ranked 10th on a 4% decline to 6,899.

Lada’s year-to-date sales were more than double those of its nearest rival, despite a 5% drop to 151,527 units. Renault followed with a 17% jump to 67,208, ahead of Kia, rising 6% to 60,027.

Chevrolet finished in fifth place after four months with sales slowing 5% to 52,489 units, Ford was ranked ninth after retreating 19% to 32,289, and Opel was 10th with a 9% increase to 26,731.

The AvtoVAZ-Renault-Nissan group saw April sales slump 12% to 71,997 units, comfortably ahead of Volkswagen Group, down 5% to 27,150, and the General Motors group that includes Chevrolet, Opel and Cadillac, down 6% to 23,155.

Year-to-date, AvtoVAZ deliveries fell 3% to 266,169 units, while VW and GM both slipped 1% to 93,647 and 79,771, respectively.

Lada boasted the top-selling model in April, the Granta, climbing 59% to 15,596 units for a 4-month total surging 98% to 52,765.

The Ford Focus rated sixth last month following a 39% slump to 5,546 units and a 4-month tally off 22% to 22,278.

Chevrolet’s Niva was the ninth-most popular model in April, improving 10% to 5,724 units for a year-to-date result down 8% to 17,748.