Stellantis has become the latest company to halt operations in Russia as the car and truck manufacturer suspended work at a plant south of Moscow where it builds vans and people carriers under brands including Fiat and Opel.
The company, which was formed last year through the merger of Peugeot owner PSA and Fiat Chrysler, said on Tuesday “the rapid daily increase in cross sanctions and logistical difficulties” prompted the move.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Carlos Tavares, Stellantis chief executive, played down the expected impact of a war on the company’s operations. Tavares said then, when the group unveiled its full-year earnings, that the company’s Russian factory in Kaluga acted as a “complement” to operations elsewhere and produced 10,000 of the 1.2mn light commercial vehicles it produced annually worldwide.
Stellantis said on Tuesday it had suspended its manufacturing operations in Kaluga “to ensure full compliance with all cross sanctions” and to protect its employees.
The company added that it condemned violence and supported “all actions capable of restoring peace”.
A number of international companies have suspended operations in Russia as the war in Ukraine intensifies. Many have blamed the logistical challenges of operating under sanctions.