Uncovering the Secrets of Citroën Cars Assembled in a Russian Factory: The China-Russia Connection

2024-04-23 05:15:35

War between Ukraine and Russiadossier

According to information from Radio France, a Chinese manufacturer continues to assemble Citroën cars in a Russian Stellantis factory, which has become inactive due to international sanctions. The French manufacturer assures that this is done without his knowledge.

In April 2022, car manufacturer Stellantis announced that it would stop vehicle production in Russia, as a result of a number of international sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine. However, the old factory in Kaluga, 200 km southwest of Moscow, is not shutting down. The latter would even today have resumed the construction of the Citroën C5 Aircross, by order of the Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng. This is revealed by Radio France this Monday, April 22, in an extensive investigation.

On website internet citroen.ru96 C5 is thus available for sale, while Stellantis had announced the closure of this same Kaluga factory due to “Logistical difficulties that arise daily” a “to guarantee full compliance with all sanctions”. No transfer of the factory was formally registered.

To France Info, the group nevertheless admits today to have “lost control” of this factory, producing almost 125,000 cars each year. Information suggesting that the third largest car manufacturer in the world is not aware of this resumption of production, which would be a “piracy industry”.

Citroëns in Russian-Chinese sets

For March 27, the Russian company Automotive Technologies had already announced that they had started to assemble Citroën C5 Aircross models, without the chevron plate, in this fhv. Stellanti’s factory. “The cars will arrive in the showrooms of official Citroën dealers in May 2024, but it is possible to reserve a car as early as April,” indicated a press release from the Russian company.

According to information from Reuters, the cars would have been assembled from kits of 1,700 parts imported to Russia, by the Chinese group Dongfeng Motor. A shareholder group of Stellantis and historic partner of Peugeot and Citroën in the production of the C5 Aircross in China. “It is not clear whether the kits from China contained parts that fall under Western sanctions against Russia, to which Beijing is not a party,” however, clarified Reuters.

An internal Stellantis source interviewed by France Info confirms that the group has indeed written to Dongfeng Motor, a company owned by the Chinese state, “to tell him that he had no right to export these parts to Russia.” Following international sanctions aimed at the increasingly isolated Russia, other companies may also fall victim to a similar parallel import programme.

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