Mercedes-Benz to leave Russia, sell plant

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Mercedes-Benz announced it is leaving the Russian market. The German auto concern is selling property, stakes in local subsidiaries, and its factory in the Moscow suburbs to the Russian dealer Avtodom, Russian media Kommersant reports, citing the company’s statement.

The concern valued its assets in Russia at €2 bn. The new owner of the factory will probably develop the production of Chinese cars, Kommersant reports.

Mercedes-Benz is the fourth western car manufacturer to leave Russia over sanctions. Japan’s Nissan left Russia earlier in October, after Toyota and Renault.

Mercedes suspended operations in Russia earlier this year but did not withdraw, a move that was unusual, James Baggott, editor-in-chief of industry website Car Dealer Magazine, told the BBC.

“Russia was a lucrative market for luxury car manufacturers like Mercedes prior to the war, with cars like its G Wagen off-roader and S Class very popular with its elite,” he said.

“Perhaps Mercedes was hoping for a swift resolution to the war, and now that looks unlikely, the firm has finally taken the long-overdue decision to quit the country for good.”

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