Mercedes-Benz is withdrawing from Russia and selling its shares in its industrial and financial services subsidiaries to a local investor.
Harald Wilhelm, the chief financial officer of the German car group, stated during the presentation of the quarterly figures that the transaction will not have any further major consequences for the profitability and financial position of the group.
Mercedes already stopped production in Russia at the beginning of March in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, they wrote off more than 700 million euros in value on the activities in the country. According to Mercedes-Benz Russia, the shares in the local subsidiaries will be sold to the Russian car dealer chain Avtodom.
The main priorities in the transaction were fulfilling obligations to customers from Russia and preserving jobs in the company’s Russian divisions, said Natalia Koroleva, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Russia.
According to the Association of European Businesses, the organization of foreign investors in Russia, 9,558 Mercedes vehicles were sold in Russia from January to September. That is almost 73 percent less than a year earlier.
A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said the company’s 15 percent stake in Russian truck maker Kamaz would not be affected by the proposed transaction. Kamaz will be transferred to Daimler Truck this year as planned. Daimler Truck was spun off last year from the Daimler car group, which has continued under the name Mercedes-Benz.
According to Russian media, the deal with Avtodom may also include a buyback clause. Earlier, the Japanese carmaker Nissan and the French Renault already included similar clauses in the sales deals of their Russian activities. As a result, Nissan was transferred to a Russian state-owned company for one euro, and Renault sold its majority stake in Russia’s Avtovaz for one ruble. In addition, both Nissan and Renault have the option to buy back the businesses within six years.