Nissan has today announced the sale of its Russian manufacturing, research and development and sales operations, setting into motion its complete withdrawal from the market.
It will sell its operations to state-owned NAMI, the Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute.
The sale is expected to be formalised in the coming weeks, and Reuters reports the purchase price will be a single euro.
Nissan stood down its Russian operations in March this year in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and uncertainty around the ongoing viability of the operation remained.
Unlike some rival automakers, Nissan has a manufacturing and R&D presence in Russia. Nissan opened its St Petersburg factory in 2009, and established the Russian ‘subdivision’ of Nissan Technical Centre Europe in 2011.
In an announcement today by Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida, Nissan committed to protect its employees, but said it could no longer remain in the country.
“On behalf of Nissan, I thank our Russian colleagues for their contribution to the business over many years. While we cannot continue operating in the market, we have found the best possible solution to support our people,” Uchida said.
Under the sale to NAMI, Nissan’s Russian employees will be protected for at least 12 months and Nissan also has the option to buy back the operation within the next six years.
The company says it expects a one-off 100 billion yen (A$1.09bn) financial impact from the exit, but that it will maintain its full-year guidance.
The sale will transfer Nissan’s manufacturing operation – Nissan Manufacturing Russia LLC, or NMGR – along with its R&D facilities in St Petersburg, while its sales and marketing division in Moscow will operate under a new name within the new entity.
The company says that despite the sale, Nissan- and Infiniti-branded vehicles will no longer be offered for sale in Russia.
Conditions of the sale also exclude Nissan intellectual property and limit future use of the St Petersburg plant to passenger vehicles.
Various automakers have wound up their Russian operations this year following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. That includes Alliance partner Renault, which sold its 67.69 per cent stake in AvtoVAZ, Lada’s parent company, to NAMI for one rouble.
That deal also included a clause allowing the Renault Group to buy back into Russia at a number of points in the next six years.