The authorities of St. Petersburg did not receive any notification from Japanese carmaker Nissan about the carmaker’s intention to leave the Russian market, Alexei Yakovlev, deputy chairman of the city committee on industrial policy, innovation and trade, told TASS on Tuesday.
Nissan’s only plant in Russia is located in St. Petersburg.
“We don’t have such information. It was just a media rumor. I think it is not the coronavirus which is the reason for such doubts of Nissan about its future,” Yakovlev said, answering a question about the possible departure of the automaker from the market.
Earlier, the business newspaper Kommersant reported, citing its own sources, that Nissan’s departure from Russia was discussed because the company allegedly has problems with the model range, which affects demand.
Earlier, the Nissan press service said it was considering an option to reduce the number of employees at the plant in St. Petersburg in connection with the transition to work in one shift. Prior to this, the plant announced that within a few months it would switch to one shift operation due to the difficult situation in the Russian automotive market.
According to the Association of European Businesses (AEB), Nissan sales in Russia in 2019 fell by 20%, to 65,000 cars.
In January 2020, sales dropped by 1%, amounting to 4,900 cars. Nissan launched its plant in St. Petersburg in June 2009. The plant’s production capacity is 100,000 cars per year. The plant produces three models: the X-Trail, Murano, and the Qashqai.