Mercedes-Benz is the latest carmaker that leaves the Russian market. The Germans are selling all their assets in the country. Avtodom is the dealer chain that the brand is planning a transaction with.
Mercedes-Benz stopped exporting cars to Russia in March, just days after the war broke in Ukraine. The German brand also put a stop on production there. According to the Q3 financial report, Mercedes holds €1.8 billion (about the same amount of money in U.S. dollars, at today’s exchange rate) in assets and €1.0 billion in liabilities.
The German company was planning to sell assets ever since July. Before proceeding to the radical move, Mercedes made sure that employees and customers would benefit from the necessary services for their cars.
“The main priorities in agreeing to the terms of the transaction were to maximize the fulfillment o obligations to clients from Russia in terms of after-sales services and financial services, as well as preserving jobs of employees at the Russian division of the country,” says Natalia Koroleva, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Russia.
The completion of the transaction is subject to authority approval. Dealer chain Avtodom is looking for a tech partner to help them continue operating the production facilities at Esipovo. The production center is 64 kilometers (around 40 miles) northwest of Moscow.
Following the transaction, Mercedes will retain its 15% stake in the Russian truckmaker Kamaz.
According to AEB (The Association of European Businesses), 9,558 three-pointed-star-branded cars were sold in Russia this year. The figures are down 73% from the same time frame last year.
Mercedes now joins the long list of car manufacturers that fled Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Renault, Toyota, members of the Volkswagen Group, Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volvo are just a few of the brands that pulled out of Russia. BMW also stopped operations there at the beginning of spring.