In Bold Move Nissan Suspends Russian Production

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Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said this week that his company has suspended production in Russia for the first half of the business year beginning on April 1 due to the untenable situation regarding its former trading partner.

“We believe this situation could turn more serious and prolonged,” a spokesman said at Nissan’s annual general meeting (AGM), in reference to a worsening Russia-Ukraine conflict.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Nissan suspended production in Russia from March as well as exports to Russia, as many Western nations imposed economic sanctions.

Nissan Manufacturing Rus LLC, the company’s plant in St. Petersburg, stopped its assembly line—that builds Qashqai and Murano SUVs— in mid-March due to logistics disruptions.

Many firms, including carmakers like Nissan, have come under increasing international pressure to cut business ties with Russia. In contrast however, only 2.4% of Japanese companies doing business with Russia have done so since the invasion began on Feb. 24. This gives Japan the unenviable rank of having the weakest sanctions among the Group of Seven nations in response to Russian aggression, based on a survey from the Yale School of Management.

Nissan’s alliance partner Renault pulled out of Russia in May after significant criticism of its presence there.

In contrast to sales in Russia of 51,338 vehicles in 2021, the firm’s sales plummeted 32.5% to 11,570 units in the first four months of 2022. But its market share actually grew by 0.6% to 4%, according to the Association of European Business.

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