The second largest Japanese automaker, Nissan Motor, announced it would stop production output at its factory in ST. Petersburg for a period of 16 days, between March 16 and March 31 to align the vehicle production to the slowing sales of the market.
According to a spokesperson, the carmaker – part of the Renault Nissan alliance that has control over the largest Russian automaker, AvtoVAZ, owner of the country’s best selling brand Lada – the company will refrain from further hiring and will not extend any temporary contract at the plant. Russia, once billed as capable of topping Germany to become Europe’s single largest auto market, had started an accelerating descent back in 2013 on the back of a feeble economy, accentuated last year by several factors: Russia’s middling into the Ukraine political crisis, the western nations economic sanctions that followed, the tumbling of global oil prices and the local currency’s fast deflation. The situation made customer confidence hit rock bottom, forcing buyers to put off large purchases and the automakers had to increase prices.
New car sales last month dived a further 38 percent in Russia, with the tough market forcing other automakers to also cut production at their local assembly facilities. Nissan produces the X-Trail, Murano, Teana and Pathfinder autos at its St. Petersburg plant and has further local production of several other models at the factories owned by AvtoVAZ.