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More German auto giants abandoning Russian customers – media

The move by BMW and Audi follows a similar decision made by Mercedes-Benz

German car giants BMW and Audi have completely disconnected Russian dealers from their software, Izvestia daily reported on Monday, citing several car traders. 

The service division of Borishoff, one of Russia’s biggest car-trading companies, confirmed the disconnection. It said the move prevents the dealership from making duplicate keys, as well as presenting “some other challenges.” It is currently unknown whether dealers will be able to analyze vehicle faults. 

Another major auto dealer, Avtodom, told the media that BMW’s online services were currently being accessed via “additional redundant channels.” 

According to one of the Audi dealerships cited by Izvestia, access to the company’s software had been limited for two months, triggering a number of problems programming duplicate keys, as well as installing spare parts that “require programming, including control units, gearbox, parking sensors and others.” 

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Volkswagen completes Russia exit

Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz suspended access to its online systems used for maintenance and the identification of problems. The automaker halted production operations in Russia in early March 2022. Later, the company announced that it would divest from Russia, under pressure from Western sanctions which jeopardized the future of its business operations. 

BMW also stopped local production and exports of vehicles to the Russian market in March last year. 

The Volkswagen Group (VW), which sells passenger cars under a wide range of internationally known brands including Audi, suspended operations in Russia last year after Western countries imposed sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine. The world’s second-biggest car company halted production in Kaluga last March and shut down vehicle assembly at a plant in Nizhny Novgorod. 

Earlier this year, VW announced it had completed the sale of its business in Russia to local auto dealer group Avilon as part of its exit from the country.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


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