The collapse of the Russian currency was the result of declining oil prices and Western sanctions imposed due to the country’s continued dispute with Ukraine. The ruble has lost as much as 20 percent against the U.S. dollar last week and more than 40 percent since June, when Russia had its biggest financial crisis in 16 years.
The aforementioned automakers have decided that the best way to deal with Russia’s situation at the moment was to temporarily suspend deliveries to dealers.
GM halted deliveries to dealers on December 16, a move that the company’s Russian unit said would help “manage its business risk” in a time when the ruble is volatile. The Detroit automaker also raised prices. However, GM said that it will deliver Cadillac, Chevrolet and Opel vehicles that have already been purchased at the agreed-on price.
As of this writing, GM has yet to set a date to resume wholesale deliveries of its vehicles to Russian dealers.
“We will continue to follow the developments closely and adjust our business, if needed,” the automaker said in a statement.
Audi also stopped sales in Russia on December 16. The Volkswagen AG-owned luxury unit said it is “thoroughly analyzing the further development of the ruble’s exchange rate” and that it is considering possibly raising its vehicle prices in response to the currency volatility. Audi Russia’s spokesman Aleksey Kozhukhov told Bloomberg News that the unit will restart after it creates a new price list.
Audi Russia announced that it has postponed vehicle deliveries to this week. It also said it will temporarily shut down its manufacturing facility in Kaluga from December 22 to January 12 for a regular holiday break.
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover announced that its sales subsidiary in Russia has halted vehicle sales to dealers on December 17. The Tata Motors-owned British automaker was expected to resume deliveries on Friday, the same day it was expected to again review the situation.
Toyota has not suspended sales in Russia, but it could raise prices. Toyota Europe spokesman Jean-Yves Jault said that the automaker “will be forced to implement price increases to adjust to market prices but have not yet finally decided by how much or when exactly — but soon.” He said Toyota does not plan to halt sales.
Automakers have suffered significant losses in Russia this year and is expected to lose millions more in the current economic situation. Auto sales dropped 12 percent in the first 11 months of 2014.
Photo credit: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg via Getty Images