Stellantis halts van production in Russia on parts shortage

TURIN — Stellantis has halted production at its van factory in Russia because it has run out of parts, the head of the automaker’s European light-commercial vehicle unit, Eric Laforge, told Automotive News Europe.

Stellantis said earlier that it was suspending imports and exports of vehicles from Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine in February. The group operates a van factory in Kaluga, 180 km (120 miles) southwest of Moscow, in partnership with Mitsubishi, where it builds midsize vans for the Citroen, Opel and Peugeot brands.

CEO Carlos Tavares said in late March that it was likely the Kaluga factory would have to stop production as parts supplies dwindled. On Thursday, Laforge told ANE that the factory had halted operations. 

Many automakers have suspended or halted operations in Russia since the war in Ukraine began, including Ford, BMW, Renault Group and Volkswagen Group. VW has stopped production at its own factory in Kaluga.

New car sales in Russia fell 63 percent in March, contracting for a ninth straight month.

Stellantis has relatively little exposure to the Russian market. Production at Kaluga was about 11,000 units last year. It had planned to begin exporting vans to western Europe and also start assembly of Fiat-branded vans there. 

Stellantis will increase van production at its factory in Hordain, northern France, to replace planned exports from Kaluga, Laforge said. 

Hordain and Kaluga build vans based on the Stellantis’ K0 platform. The Hordain plant produces the Citroen Jumpy, Fiat Scudo, Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and Peugeot Expert for Stellantis as well as the Toyota Proace.

Mitsubishi builds the Pajero Sport in Kaluga. The plant is owned by PCMA Rus, a joint venture in which Stellantis holds 70 percent and Mitsubishi 30 percent.

Mitsubishi said on April 8 that “due to the logistical difficulties, vehicle exports and parts supply” production at Kaluga had been suspended since March.

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