Honda suspends exports to Russia, signalling more Japanese automakers would join

The Honda logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albou

Honda Motor (7267.T)said on Wednesday it has suspended exports of cars and motorcycles to Russia, signalling the likelihood more Japanese automakers would join the global swell of companies halting business with Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

According to Reuters, Western companies have spurned Moscow following the invasion, stopping sales in Russia and even saying they would exit investments there. Ford Motor (F.N) and other global automakers have already said they would suspend operations.

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) also plans to halt exports of auto parts to Russia, the Nikkei newspaper said. A Mazda spokesperson declined to comment.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd is continuing operations in Russia and is closely monitoring the situation there, a spokesperson said. Its dealerships and offices in Ukraine are closed, the spokesperson said.

Nissan sold 53,000 vehicles in Russia in 2021, the spokesperson said.

Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) business in Russia was continuing as normal, although there had been partial disruption to shipments to the country, a spokesperson said.

Mitsubishi Motor Corp (7211.T) said on Tuesday it may suspend production and sale of its cars in Russia citing potential supply chain disruptions as a result of sanctions on Russia. 

But the response of many Japanese firms has been more muted so far. Honda had suspended exports to Russia as of Wednesday, a spokesperson said, without elaborating when the suspension took effect.

The spokesperson said difficulty in shipping vehicles and making payments was the reason for the suspension. The automaker does not have factories in Russia, where it sold 1,406 cars in the 2020 financial year.

Autos and auto parts made up more than half of Japan’s exports to Russia in 2020, according to the finance ministry.


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