Russian carmaker Avtovaz brings forward holiday shutdown amid component shortage

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s largest carmaker, Avtovaz, said on Thursday that it was bringing forward an annual three-week company summer holiday by several weeks because of component shortages.

Russia’s auto industry has been hit hard by the fallout of Western sanctions and Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, having previously been reliant on Western investment, parts and partnerships.

The company said it was working to establish new logistics corridors, and in 2022 found ways to replace more than 200 car parts that some countries were refusing to export to Russia.

“However, in the spring of 2023, a number of parts suppliers notified Avtovaz that they were ending deliveries and broke existing agreements on maintaining deliveries in 2023,” Avtovaz said in a statement.

“As a result of this, uninterrupted production of complete vehicles will not be possible from the second half of May 2023.”

The three-week summer shutdown, previously scheduled to begin on July 24, will now take place from May 29 to June 19, giving Avtovaz more time to build up its stock of components.

Avtovaz said it planned to produce more than 400,000 vehicles in 2023, which would be more than double its 2022 sales of 188,645.

Factories across Russia collectively produced just 450,000 cars last year, the industry’s worst showing since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kevin Liffey)