Proving yet again that the Russian economy is well and truly in the toilet, it's been discovered the country's auto sales have plummeted 43 percent. Only 139,850 vehicles were sold back in March, compared to 243,000 over the same period in 2014.

Russia has been hobbled by the absolute collapse of the ruble, thanks in no small part to the economic sanctions levied against the country following its belligerence in Crimea and plunging oil prices. Rapid inflation has forced a number of automakers to adjust their strategies in the country, with General Motors going as far as ending sales of its Opel brand and dramatically reducing the number of Chevrolet models it's selling in Russia.

Things aren't expected to get dramatically better in the near future either, Bloomberg reports.
The Russian economy is expected to shrink three percent this year, the business outlet claims, with inflation expected to end the year at over 12 percent.

"What we are seeing now in the sales statistics is the long-predicted 'hole' in consumer demand, caused by the pull-ahead of car purchases at the end of last year, and compounded by heavy price inflation in the current year," Automobile Manufacturers Committee Chairman Joerg Schreiber said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

That's not to say things will never turn around, though. It's just a question of how long a recovery will take.

"The situation will stabilize, but we are not at this point yet." Schreiber said.

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