Nissan to transfer Russian assets to NAMI with option to buy back in six years
MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) - Japanese automaker Nissan will transfer its assets in Russia, including the Nissan Manufacturing Rus LLC plant in St. Petersburg, to Russian state company NAMI with the option to repurchase in six years, the Industry and Trade Ministry reported.
The sale of the assets for a symbolic price to the state, as represented by NAMI, was approved by Nissan's executive committee, the ministry said.
The deal includes Nissan's manufacturing and research facilities in St. Petersburg, and a sales and marketing center in Moscow. Nissan will have the option to buy back its stake in the Russian company in the next six years. Therefore, the assets are being transferred to Russian state ownership in the same way as those of French automaker Renault.
"As a result of negotiations, we managed to arrive at a format where the business retains operating capacity: key competencies, the production cycle and jobs - and this is about 2,000 employees - are being preserved," the ministry press service quoted Deputy Prime Minister and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying.
"NAMI has the ability to attract other companies as production partners, form joint ventures. Avtovaz will provide after sale servicing for Nissan automobiles, as well as supply spare parts," Manturov said.
Avtovaz said that after signing the necessary agreements it would begin the process of taking over Nissan's warranty and post-sales service support functions based on the same successful experience with the Renault brand. It is planned that Nissan dealers who decide to continue working with the Japanese brand of cars will sign the relevant agreements with Avtovaz, which will take control of the central spare parts warehouse and organize the supply of necessary parts and consumables.
"Amid increasing sanctions pressure and heightened uncertainty, Avtovaz will make every effort to successfully and quickly transfer the warranty and post-sales service system for Nissan cars in the Russian market to its control. Our main goal is to provide uninterrupted customer service and maintain the usual level of service," said Maxim Sokolov, the Avtovaz president.
Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida thanked Russian colleagues on behalf of the company for their contribution to the development of the business over the course of many years.
"We cannot resume the operations of our businesses right now, so the best possible solution was found to support employees," ministry quoted him as saying.
Nissan's plant in St. Petersburg opened in June 2009. The company invested $200 million in the first phase, and 167 million euros in expansion. The plant, which has capacity to produce 100,000 vehicles per year and employs about 2,000 people, assembled the X-Trail, Murano, Qashqai and Terrano models.