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Russian company starts Citroen production at former Stellantis factory

Russian Company Starts Citroen Production At Former Stellantis Factory

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MOSCOW — Russian company Automotive Technologies announced it had started assembling Citroen C5 Aircross models in batches at a plant south of Moscow formerly owned by Stellantis, with the cars set to be sold in dealerships from May.

Reuters exclusively reported in February, citing customs data and two people familiar with the matter, that Automotive Technologies had imported at least 42 car kits from China for assembling Citroen models at the plant.

Manufactured in China, the kits were produced by China’s Dongfeng Motor Group, the data showed.

Stellantis reiterated its response to Reuters in February, that it had concluded since Dec. 31, 2023, that it had “lost control of its entities in Russia.”

“On March 27, batch assembly of Citroen C5 Aircross crossovers started at the factory in Kaluga,” Automotive Technologies said in a statement. “The cars will arrive in the salons of official Citroen dealers in May 2024, but it’s possible to book a car as soon as April.”

The developments highlight the lack of control Western companies have over their brands after suspending Russian operations or leaving the country since Moscow’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and demonstrate Moscow’s increasing dependence on Beijing, particularly in the car industry.

In February, Stellantis said it recognized a loss of 144 million euros ($155.75 million) from losing its Russian operations, including 87 million euros of cash and cash equivalents.

Chinese trade data for 2023 shows that exports of cars to Russia were almost seven times higher than in 2022, with the value of those exports jumping by almost $10 billion.

Dongfeng and Stellantis, the world’s third-largest automaker by revenue, operate a commercial joint venture in China, through which Dongfeng can build and sell Stellantis cars in China.



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