Mercedes Is The Latest Automaker To Leave Russia

It's selling the assets to a local auto dealer chain.

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Mercedes-Benz is leaving the Russian market and selling its assets in the country to the auto dealer chain Avtodom. The carmaker made the announcement during the presentation of its third-quarter financial results.

“The main priorities in agreeing to the terms of the transaction were to maximize the fulfillment 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,” Natalia Koroleva, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Russia, said in a statement, according to Automotive News.

In March, Mercedes stopped exporting vehicles to Russia and also halted local production there. The company has €1.8 billion in assets in the country and €1.0 billion in liabilities, the Q3 financial report indicates.

Mercedes will retain its 15 percent stake in the Russian truckmaker Kamaz, according to Automotive News.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many automakers have abandoned the market entirely or at least halted sales there. Nissan, for example, left the county and sold its assets to NAMI, the Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute. Renault did the same, including offloading shares in AvtoVAZ to NAMI.

Similarly, Toyota paused production at its factory in Saint Petersburg in March and announced the complete closure of the plant in September. However, the automaker is maintaining its dealer network at least for servicing vehicles already on the road.

High-end automakers have also responded to the invasion. Lamborghini put its business operations in Russia on hold and donated €1 million to UN Refugee Aid. Ferrari suspended the production of vehicles for the Russian market and pledged €1 million to international humanitarian projects.

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