Stellantis isn’t a big player in Russia. Even though the company comprises historical auto brands and is one of the main carmakers worldwide, its impact on the local market is not that important. It holds just a little over 1% of the total car market in the Eastern European country – and that’s after an 83% increase in sales in 2021.
What the company is doing in Russia that matters to its shareholders is exports, specifically vans and minivans exports like the Peugeot Expert, Opel Vivaro, or Citroen Jumpy. Before the attack on Ukraine, Stellantis wanted to invest more in its Kaluga plant near Moscow to also manufacture the Fiat Scudo. There weren’t any further developments announced.
The factory is shared with Mitsubishi, which said the same as Stellantis when asked if it plans on leaving Russia: it may happen, but only because sanctions might end up disrupting supply chains.
Stellantis’ best-selling vehicles in Russia were Peugeot Traveler and Citroen Space Tourer.
Now the company confirmed it’s momentarily stopping the operations in Russia, as New York Times and Reuters reported.
You ought to keep in mind that at the moment, there’s no official press release with specifics regarding the stopping of imports and exports in Russia. Stellantis hasn’t issued any other details besides this: "All Stellantis exportation of cars to Russia and importation from Russia are suspended."
This marks a slight shift in the company’s attitude, as its CEO, Carlos Tavares, previously said closing the factory and stopping all operations would “only hurt workers, not Putin.”
But, for now, we know one sure thing: Stellantis temporarily stopped Russian production, exports, and imports because parts are missing, not because a war is happening in Ukraine - officially, that is.
It's hard to understand why Stellantis isn't taking the same approach as Volkswagen, Ford, or BMW. Instead, it looks like it follows Toyota's lead in the matter.