From Toyota to Mazda to Mitsubishi: Japanese cars leave Russia. Too many uncertainties as to whether Moscow can be accepted again by the international community, at least in the short term
The first, important, defections of the automotive sector on Russian soil begin. At least two major car brands are expected to leave the country in the coming days: Toyota and Mazda. The first has decided to close the St. Petersburg plant, while the second, according to information reported in the Nikkei business newspaper, is said to be discussing the cessation of production of its joint venture vehicles in Vladivostok, in eastern Russia. But let's go in order.
JAPANESE CAR ON THE ESCAPE FROM RUSSIA
The most striking news, of course, at present concerns Toyota, which had suspended production like many other multinationals present in Russia since March, following the problems of the supply chain blocked by the first sanctions imposed by the West. Definitively pulling down the shutters of the St. Petersburg plant, which has a capacity of 100,000 units a year, employs about 2,300 people and assembles the Camry and RAV4 models, must certainly not have been a decision taken with heart. light.
Toyota has motivated the intention to close the factory with the impossibility of restarting activities normally and here we understand why the news is disruptive for the Russian economy: for the Japanese, after more than six months of conflict, the uncertainty about the possibility of reopen are such that it is better to close. This suggests that few people bet that Moscow will soon re-enter the ranks of the international community and, indeed, probably the new world order will be structured on two opposing blocs, with sanctions destined to persist.
WHAT FUTURE FOR THE ST PETERSBURG PLANT?
The Russian government obviously does not comment. It is only possible to find a note from the Russian Ministry of Industry and Commerce in which it is emphasized that Toyota has undertaken to ensure the fulfillment of all social obligations towards employees and to pay the approximately 2300 blue overalls of the St. Petersburg plant. a "significant" severance pay. The Japanese should still keep all after-sales services of the Toyota and Lexus brands as well as the dealer network in Russia active for their users.
The same department tries to reassure the workers by announcing that they have started, together with the municipality of St. Petersburg, the study of possible scenarios for the development of the site. In reality the only plausible one is that verified in Moscow with Renault : nationalization of the plant with the control of AvtoVaz passed to municipal and national public bodies. It could just be AvtoVaz to acquire it.
WHAT MAZDA, NISSAN AND MITSUBISHI WILL DO
Mazda Motor Corp, which sold 30,000 cars in Russia last year, said in March that parts exports to the Vladivostok-operated plant, which it runs alongside Russian automaker Sollers, would cease and production would cease. once stocks are exhausted. That time has come and now the Japanese company is said to be discussing the end of the production of its vehicles. According to reports from the Japanese media, a timetable for the interruption of production has not been indicated, but it would not be missing much.
Staying on the eastern front, Nissan, another Japanese brand, is currently taking time. The brand has in fact decided to suspend activities in the St. Petersburg plant for another three months compared to the reopening originally scheduled for the end of September, which is now postponed to the end of the year. Even Mitsubishi remains at the window and could decide to close if 2023 does not open in the name of reconciliation between East and West.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/smartcity/auto-le-case-giapponesi-lasciano-a-piedi-la-russia/ on Sat, 01 Oct 2022 05:32:19 +0000.