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PARIS — Stellantis will move its current Russian van production to western Europe and freeze plans for more investments in the country as a consequence of the invasion of Ukraine, CEO Carlos Tavares said on Friday.

In this context “new investments in Russia are not on the table,” Tavares said during a Q&A session with reporters organized by Mobility TV World.

The world’s fourth largest carmaker said on Thursday it had suspended all exports and imports of vehicles with Russia, where it operates a van-making plant in the city of Kaluga, in partnership with Mitsubishi.

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The announcement came after Moscow decided a ban on exports of certain goods, including autos, and agricultural commodities, as a retaliation measure against Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukraine crisis is driving up the price of metals used in cars, from aluminum in the bodywork to palladium in catalytic converters to the high-grade nickel in electric vehicle batteries, increasing pressure on the industry, already facing higher energy costs.

Tavares said further shortages of raw materials, including nickel for EV batteries were to be expected.

“Stellantis has not been hurt do much so far as our supply base is not concentrated in Eastern Europe,” he said

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Gilles Guillaume; editing by Keith Weir)

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