Cars, houses stop exports to Russia. Production in hiccups in Europe due to the shortage of cabling systems

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Among the major automotive groups, Renault, Stellantis and Hyundai are currently continuing more or less regularly with their activities in Russia despite the sanctions and the invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin. The French manufacturer, which controls Avtovaz (35,000 employees) through a joint venture with a public partner, has actually suspended some operations due to a lack of components. Shares of the Renault group have plummeted to their lowest level since November 2020. Through the Alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi and the Lada brand, it reaches 34% of the market. Stellantis (2,000 workers in Russia) made it known that it had activated two task forces (one for the safety of personnel and the other to try to understand how to operate in compliance with the sanctions) and to foresee limited repercussions from the “crisis”. It has allocated one million euros in aid to refugees and civilians.

The Hyundai site in St. Petersburg will remain closed for at least five days, but the decision, the Korean group specified, “has nothing to do with Russia and Ukraine”, but with the shortage of microprocessors. Together with the subsidiary Kia it has a market share of 23%. The sanctions should cost the group no less than 350 million euros.

After the German media had ruled out that the Volkswagen group had on its agenda the reduction of its commitment in the country, where it has 4,000 employees in the country and a market share of about 12%, in the late morning it was made official that in referring to the Russian attack “the Board of Directors has decided to stop production in Russia until further notice”. The Wolfsburg giant has also blocked exports, thus following the example of many other houses.

Several manufacturers – Volkswagen (the Zwickau lines and the Audi, Cupra and VW electric lines manufactured on the MEB platform are affected), Porsche (in Leipzig) and BMW (certainly the German site of Dingolfing, the Mini one in Oxford, the Austrian engine site Steyr and probably also the Munich plant,) among them – were forced to temporarily stop production in Western Europe as well.

Leoni, a supplier specialized in wiring (about 5 kilometers of car cables), has closed two factories in Ukraine, in Stryi and Kolomya. But other companies (Forschner, Kromberg & Schubert, Prettl, SEBN and Yazaki) also have strong interests in the country in the same sector. 7% of all European imports in the segment come from Ukraine, where 22 automotive companies have invested over 540 million euros in 38 plants over the years, ensuring employment for over 60,000 employees. Leoni is trying to reshape production, but it takes time. The new shortage of components is added to that of semiconductors, for which there was a certain optimism for the current year. The conflict, according to experts’ estimates, risks halving the Russian car market, which last year had risen to almost 1.7 million units.

Toyota, the first manufacturer in the world, employs 2,000 people in Russia: at the St. Petersburg site it produces around 80,000 cars with a market share of 7%. From tomorrow the Japanese giant has decided to stop the assembly lines, also indefinitely suspending exports to the country. Not even Honda-branded cars and motorbikes will arrive from Japan.

The American Ford and General Motors intervened in response to the invasion: the Blue Oval informed the local partner Sollers of the suspension of activities until a later date, while GM, which has an insignificant share (just 3,000 vehicles delivered), has export stopped.

British Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin, as well as Germany’s BMW and Mercedes, also blocked exports. The Bavarian house has blocked the assembly of its cars for which it had extended the contract with Avtotor to 2028, while the one with the Star announced with a concise statement that it had decided to stop both exports to Russia and production in the factory near Moscow in whose inauguration Vladimir Putin himself had taken part.

Also Volvo (Chinese-owned), Daimler Truck (which has suspended cooperation with Kamaz), Volvo Truck (also stopped production in Kaluga) and Man (fewer shifts are already planned at the German and Polish sites and the suspension of activities in St. Petersburg) have ordered the blocking of exports to Russia and Belarus. Sixt, the car rental company, has closed its IT development center in Ukraine and is trying to rescue its staff, a hundred or so workers (half a million euro budget for the operation), and plans to close all businesses in Russia. Bosch employs 360 people in Ukraine (170 million in revenues), where it has closed its plants and provided aid to personnel, and 3,500 in Russia (1.2 billion in turnover), where work continues for the moment, but only on orders. existing.

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