Mazda Sells Shares in Russian Joint Venture for 1 Euro

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The automotive exodus continues in Russia as Mazda is the latest in a long line of car manufacturers to stop production. Tucked into a press release about the latest financial results is news of Zoom-Zoom’s decision to sell its stake in a 50:50 joint venture it has with local automaker Sollers. The latter is to buy the other half from the company MSMR for the “prince” amount of 1 euro.

However, that’s goodbye only for now as the contract stipulates Mazda has the possibility to buy the package of its 50 percent stake at any time in the next three years for the same €1. A similar decision was taken earlier this year by Renault and Nissan as both sold their stakes in their respective joint ventures for almost nothing except leaving the door open for a possible return one day.

In its financial statements, Mazda said it would record an extraordinary loss of around 12 billion, which translates to about $85.6 million or €83 million. The decision was taken “because of the situation in Ukraine that emerged in February 2022.” The Japanese automaker stopped shipping parts to MSMR in March before ending operations altogether a month later. Discussions were held between the two parties, but Mazda “sees no way to restart the business.”

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Known officially as Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus, the company has been operating a factory in Vladivostok since October 2012 with an annual production capacity of 50,000 units. Products include the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9 SUVs along with 6 sedans. Last year, Mazda captured 1.8 percent of the Russian auto market.

Mazda’s decision to sell its stake in joint venture MSMR does not mean the end of the Vladivostok plant since a Sollers spokesperson said Reuters operations will resume in 2023 with a “new model lineup.”