Citroen C5 Aircross being unofficially assembled at Stellantis' Russia plant

    Factory is reportedly being used for assembling kits made by Dongfeng in China.

    Published On Feb 16, 2024 06:23:00 PM

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    Citroen C5 Aircross

    The Citroen C5 Aircross currently on sale in India.

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    According to a Reuters report, Stellantis’ plant in Kaluga, Russia is being used to assemble Citroen C5 Aircross models, despite the carmaker halting production in Russia in April 2022 amid the Ukraine conflict. Citroen has a 70 percent stake in the plant – the rest is held by Mitsubishi Motors – that is reportedly being used by Russian company Automotive Technologies to manufacture the SUV.

    1. 42 kits made by Dongfeng imported from China
    2. Stellantis says have “lost control of its entities in Russia”
    3. Unclear if it will be sold with Citroen brand

    In December last year, Automotive Technologies imported at least 42 car kits from China's Dongfeng Motor Group for assembling the Citroen C5 Aircross at the Kaluga plant, the report says. Dongfeng operates a commercial joint venture in China with Stellantis. Car dealers in Russia have reportedly been told that they would be receiving Citroen C5 Aircross models assembled by Automotive Technologies in Kaluga.

    The firm said in December that it was assembling a pilot batch of 48 imported cars, ahead of mass production in 2024, but did not name the supplier or model of the car.

    While highlighting Russia’s reliance on China for its automobile industry, the incident also brings to light the lack of control brands have after suspending Russian operations. Stellantis says they have "lost control of its entities in Russia". Prior to the suspension of operations, the Kaluga factory produced Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Mitsubishi cars, and had an annual capacity of 1,25,000 vehicles.

    The company claims a loss of Euro 144 million (about Rs 1,288 crore) as a result, including the loss of Euro 87 million (about Rs 778 crore) of cash and cash equivalents. Just last month, Hyundai announced the sale of its St Petersburg plant, taking a hit of approximately Rs 1,830 crore.

    SUV may not have Citroen branding

    It is unclear whether the cars being produced at the plant will retain the Citroen badge, but Russia had revived the Soviet-era Moskvich brand name in 2022. While many carmakers have left the Russian market, some supplies continue to be available through a "parallel imports" scheme, which allows importers to bring in products without taking the trademark owner's permission.

    SOURCE

    Also see:

    How Russia's invasion of Ukraine is affecting automotive industry

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