While companies pull out of Russia after the attack on Ukraine, automotive manufacturers are also taking action, which is to be expected. After Ford’s Russian division suspended its activities in March, Mazda is considering ceasing its operations altogether.
The Japanese manufacturer has been in a joint venture with Sollers, another automaker, since 2012. The latter has operated with foreign brands such as Toyota and Ford, both of which have also put a halt in response to the conflict. Automotive sales have also suffered after the war, with Toyota announcing the closure of its St. Petersburg plant on Friday. Mazda-Sollers’ Vladivostok plant will be closed down, and the timeframe would presumably follow after when Mazda decides what to do with its stake in the 50:50 venture with Sollers. Details are quite scarce, with no plans announced for aftersales and spare part production. Sollers is already in the plans of making use of the joint venture plants for their own, as a plan to ‘relaunch the factory for production of other automobile brands’ The Japanese brand sold 30000 cars in 2021, which may have reassured the decision. While 30000 isn’t little, it is far from optimal, and is short of the manufacturers’ goal. The export sanctions and worsening state of the conflict couldn’t have helped either.
p class=”MsoNormal”>Mazda’s competitive pricing for premium-feel cars may not be the greatest fit to Russia’s current state of affairs. With the collapse of demand for new cars, chip shortages and other issues currently plaguing the automotive industry, it’s only a matter of time before brands decide to pack their bags in less profitable countries.
(Images sourced from Mazda)
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