December 17, 2023

Long, Long Repair


Long, Long Repair
Car repair. Magic Booster, Wikimedia Commons

The delivery timeline for some auto parts in Russia can stretch to more than a year, thanks in large part to foreign brands that exited the market after the start of Russia's War on Ukraine, as well as sanctions imposed by Western countries, reports Izvestia.

Parts from brands no longer present in the Russian Federation are being routed through third countries. However, significant delays at customs, as well as shipping impediments imposed by automakers, contribute to extended waiting periods.

The most challenging aspect is procuring components for Japanese cars, such as Lexus and Infiniti, as well as select European brands like Skoda and Mercedes. For instance, the Absolut Insurance company reports instances where the replacement of an AdBlue tank for a Mercedes led to an 18-month wait. 

Japanese brands like Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Honda, and Korean brands Kia and Hyundai, experience an average waiting period of six months for their parts.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, European, American, and Korean car brands ceased supplying vehicles to Russia. In response, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade permitted "parallel imports," allowing the entry of goods without the copyright holder's consent.

However, the utilization of parallel import channels has led to an elongation of logistics chains, resulting in increased delivery times. Spare parts are navigating intricate routes via international hubs in Turkey or the UAE, and transit through the Baltic countries, Belarus, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. Even still, cargo often encounters delays at customs.

And, despite these challenges with auto parts imports, luxury cars from European brands continue to make their way into Russia.

An investigative report by independent outlet Verstka revealed that, since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, approximately a thousand premium European cars, valued at $100 million, were imported into Russia via Belarus, despite sanctions. Business figures affiliated with individuals close to the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, are reportedly involved in the covert transactions.

Finland has emerged as another transit country for the export of luxury cars to Russia. Journalists uncovered this scheme by attaching radio beacons to new passenger cars crossing the Russian border. According to the publication, luxury cars are loaded onto ships in Germany, transported to Finland, and then clandestinely funneled into Russia.

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