Mazda negotiating exit from Russia

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Russian firm Sollers confirms discussions to buy out Japanese partner’s Vladivostok manufacturing capacity.

Mazda is in discussions with Russian firm Sollers Auto to sell its half of a joint venture that manufactures cars in eastern Russia, it has been confirmed.

The two companies began producing cars in Vladivostok in 2012 and previously made around 50,000 at the facility annually.

The plant was used to assemble the Mazda 6 and Mazda CX-5 from knock-down kits shipped from Japan. However, supply-chain issues following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February meant Mazda suspended production at the plant in April.

Sollers said in a statement: “PJSC Sollers Auto is indeed discussing with Mazda the matter of halting the manufacturing of autos in Vladivostok and Sollers buying out Mazda’s share in the joint venture.

“[In the] meantime, Sollers Auto has already developed a plan to relaunch the plant for manufacturing the cars of other brands and is currently finalising negotiations on the matter.”

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A decision regarding the future of Mazda’s Russian sales and servicing businesses hasn’t yet been made, reported Nikkei. Mazda sold 30,000 cars in Russia last year.

New version of Mazda’s established family SUV looks to hone its driver appeal further and move upmarket in a rapidly expanding segment

This news closely follows the confirmation that Toyota will be closing its St Petersburg plant, where production was suspended in March due to import sanctions blocking part supply.

Toyota’s Russian factory previously produced 100,000 cars per year, including the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4, according to Reuters.

Volkswagen announced that it would close its Nizhny Novgorod factory in July.

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