Stellantis to start exporting Russia-made minivans to Western Europe

By Katya Golubkova and Gleb Stolyarov


MOSCOW, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Carmaker Stellantis (STLA.MI), which produces and sells the Peugeot, Citroёn, Opel, Jeep, Fiat brands in Russia, will begin exporting locally-made light commercial vehicles to Western Europe next month, it said on Tuesday.

Stellantis, the company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot, has just 1% of the car market in Russia, where it runs its Kaluga plant some 125 miles south-east of Moscow with Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi (7211.T).

On Tuesday, Stellantis said it planned to start exports of its Peugeot Expert, Opel Vivaro and Citroёn Jumpy minivans to Western Europe next month, as overall production of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel cars at the Kaluga plant doubled in 2021.

Stellantis, which plans to start manufacturing the Fiat Scudo minivan in Russia by the end of the year with the aim of selling them abroad, wants to turn the Kaluga plant into an export hub to supply engines and cars to Europe, Latin America and North Africa. read more

Commercial vehicles produced in Russia would add to those made in Stelllantis plants in the United Kingdom and France amid growing demand for vans globally.

Sales of new cars in Russia are forecast to slow to 3.3% this year from 4.3% in 2021, due to a global shortage of electronic components, logistics challenges and higher costs, pushing up car prices for Russian buyers.

On Tuesday, Stellantis mentioned none of these issues in its statement, saying its overall sales in Russia, the market dominated by Renault-controlled AvtoVaz (RENA.PA), grew by 65% last year.

This month, Washington has threatened wide-ranging sanctions to deter Russia from invading Ukraine – a move Moscow denies – potentially blocking the country’s access to global electronic supplies, further hampering the local car industry. read more

Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow, additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris Editing by Louise Heavens