French carmaker Renault has announced the sale of its assets in Russia as it formally leaves the country following the invasion of Ukraine. The assets are worth 2.195 billion euros ($2.29 billion), according to Renault.
The company’s directors unanimously agreed the sale of Renault Russia to the city of Moscow and its majority interest in Russia carmaker AVTOVAZ to NAMI (the Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute), according to a statement Monday.
We have taken a difficult but necessary decision; and we are making a responsible choice towards our 45,000 employees in Russia,” Renault said in a statement.
The sale of its stake in AVTOVAZ provides the option for Renault to buy back its interest within six years, per the statement.
Writing on his blog, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that the city had decided to take over ownership of the plant and would “resume production of passenger cars under the historical Moskvich brand.”
“We will try to keep most of the team directly working at the plant and with its subcontractors,” Sobyanin wrote, promising a future move to the production of electric cars.
Moskvich was a Soviet-era carmaker of everyday passenger vehicles.
Russia was a key piece in Renault’s global empire before the war broke out.
With 482,264 cars sold in 2021, Russia was the second most important market for Renault, ranking only behind the carmaker’s home base France in terms of sales volumes, according to the group’s 2021 sales results.