German car manufacturers BMW and Audi have severed their connection with Russian dealers, according to a report by Izvestia. This disconnection has caused several challenges for car traders, including the inability to make duplicate keys and difficulties in analyzing vehicle faults.
One of the biggest car-trading companies in Russia, Borishoff, confirmed that they have been disconnected from the software. They stated that this move has prevented them from making duplicate keys and has presented them with other challenges. The exact nature of these challenges is not specified in the report.
Similarly, Avtodom, another major auto dealer, reported that it is currently accessing BMW’s online services through additional redundant channels. This suggests that BMW is implementing alternative methods to ensure that its Russian dealers can still access necessary software and services.
The report also highlights the challenges faced by Audi dealerships. Access to Audi’s software has been limited for two months, causing problems in programming duplicate keys and installing spare parts that require programming, such as control units, gearboxes, and parking sensors.
These disconnections and limitations are likely a result of the ongoing tensions between Russia and Western countries. Mercedes-Benz, for example, suspended access to its online systems used for maintenance and problem identification earlier this month. The automaker had already ceased production operations in Russia in March 2022 and announced plans to divest from the country due to Western sanctions.
BMW also halted local production and exports to the Russian market in March last year. The Volkswagen Group, which includes brands like Audi, suspended operations in Russia last year in response to Western sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine. Volkswagen halted production in Kaluga and shut down vehicle assembly at a plant in Nizhny Novgorod.
In fact, earlier this year, Volkswagen announced the completion of the sale of its business in Russia to local auto dealer group Avilon, as part of its exit from the country.
This disconnection from software and limitation of access to online services by German car manufacturers highlights the impact of geopolitical tensions on business operations. It remains to be seen how these challenges will affect Russian car dealers and their ability to provide services to customers.
Overall, there is a clear trend of Western companies, particularly in the automotive industry, scaling back their operations in Russia due to sanctions and geopolitical pressures. These developments have significant implications for the Russian market and the future of the automotive industry in the country.
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