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Mercedes disconnects Russian customers – Izvestia

The German carmaker had suspended manufacturing in the sanctioned country in March 2022

German auto giant Mercedes-Benz has completely disconnected Russian dealers from its software, the Izvestia daily reported on Monday, citing the press service of the company’s distributor in Russia. 

Access has been suspended to online systems used for maintenance and identification of problems, Mercedes-Benz Russia reportedly told the outlet. Izvestia sources said Germany’s BMW Group has also restricted Russian dealers’ access to its software.

“Dealers have indeed been disconnected from the manufacturer’s online software systems. In some cases, the lack of access to online systems will increase repair times,” Mercedes-Benz Russia was quoted as saying. Car repairs and maintenance will be based on “accumulated experience and knowledge,” the dealer noted.

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“Due to the withdrawal of Mercedes-Benz AG from the Russian market, the joint-stock company Mercedes-Benz Russia does not have any additional opportunities to check and carry out other service measures set for Mercedes-Benz cars by the manufacturer,” the distributor stated.

Aside from increasing maintenance times, the lack of official software could create problems with updates for new machines, market participants told Izvestia. “Even though there are ways to avoid these restrictions, drivers will be served more often at unofficial service stations and buy simpler car models,” they suggested.

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Mercedes-Benz secures loophole for possible Russia return

Mercedes suspended manufacturing in Russia in early March last year, shortly after the start of the military conflict in Ukraine. In October, the automaker announced that it would divest from Russia, under pressure from Western sanctions which jeopardized the future of its business operations. The company has also included a buyback option in its deal with the Russian government to sell its assets in the country, which gives it the right to return and reclaim its business in the future.

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In April 2023, the German carmaker announced that it has received Moscow’s approval for the sale of its assets. The buyer has been identified as local car dealer chain, Avtodom.

The carmaker’s assets in Russia included the Mercedes-Benz plant in Moscow Region and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Rus LLC, a car leasing and insurance company.

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August 15, 2023 at 11:48AM
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