Mercedes-Benz To Finally Exit The Russian Car Market

Business

The world’s oldest car maker will finally, belatedly, exit the Russian car market after finding a local buyer for its subsidiary in the embargoed nation.

The German premium automaker will sell its industrial and financial services subsidiaries to Avtodom, a Russian auto dealership chain, for an undisclosed sum. A buyback option is said to be part of the deal, though the timeframe is undisclosed.

It halted its manufacturing operation near Moscow in March, following the invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The admission came during the the presentation of Mercedes-Benz’s third-quarter financial results by its Chief Financial Officer, Harald Wilhelm, who insisted there would be no further effects on profitability after reported Russian losses in Q2 and Q3.

“Final completion of the transaction is subject to the authority’s approval and the implementation of contractually agreed conditions,” Wilhem said.

Mercedes-Benz also owns a 15% stake in truckmaker Kamaz, which it is transferring to DaimlerTruck this year. Kamaz has very definitely not ceased production.

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“The main priorities in agreeing the terms of the transaction were to maximize the fulfilment of obligations to clients from Russia both in terms of after-sales services and financial services, as well as preserving jobs of employees at the Russian divisions of the company,” a statement from Mercedez-Benz Rus CEO Natalia Koroleva said.

Despite the war, Mercedes-Benz still sold 9558 vehicles in Russia from January to September, according to the Association of European Business.

Mercedes-Benz joins a long list of automakers who have finalized their exits from the Russian market since it started its war with Ukraine.

Nissan was the last automaker to exit the country, shuffling its Russian business to a state-owned company for a single Euro, while Nissan’s major shareholder, Renault, sold out of its AvtoVAZ stake. Both companies retain six-year buyback options.

Toyota has confirmed it will cease production in Russia, Mazda is looking for a way out and Volkswagen is actively looking for a local company to take its Kaluga factory off its hands, even though the production plant hasn’t built a car since the war began.

Kia is still pondering whether or not to close its St Petersburg plant, which is run by Hyundai Motor’s local subsidiary.

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