Gas from Russia: Mercedes is preparing to stop deliveries

Status: 04/29/2022 3:52 p.m

So far it has not been clarified which companies would have to do without gas from Russia in the event of a stop. The car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz draws conclusions from this and wants to reduce its gas consumption.

The carmaker Mercedes-Benz is preparing for a possible stop in gas supplies from Russia. Like every company, Mercedes is also checking what dependencies there are and how one can make oneself more independent of gas, CEO Ola Källenius explained to the news agency today Reuters: “It is still too early to assess which scenario could come into play here,” said Källenius. “But yes, we are making preparations.”

The group is also reacting to the fact that it is not yet clear which companies will be supplied in the event of a gas embargo and how: the Federal Network Agency has not yet announced how the car manufacturer would be affected by rationing, said Källenius. The Stuttgart are therefore in contact with the authorities. If gas should become scarce, the Federal Network Agency would distribute it.

The Russian Gazprom group had stopped gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria against the background of European sanctions imposed as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. So far, Germany has not been affected by such an export ban by Russia. At the same time, however, the discussion in the European Union continues as to whether the EU states should stop gas imports.

“We need an active raw materials strategy in Europe”

“Should there be a gas supply stop, that would affect large parts of the economy,” said the CEO of Mercedes-Benz. You need gas for production and for heating factory buildings. An abrupt halt to deliveries would therefore have an impact. The company is working to reduce demand and use other energy sources. “Maybe it will be a bit cooler here and there,” said CFO Harald Wilhelm.

The massive rise in prices for energy and raw materials is also driving the DAX group. “We need an active raw materials strategy in Europe,” said Källenius: “Because access to raw materials is crucial for the electrical and digital transformation and for the competitiveness of the European economy as a whole.”

War in Ukraine also puts a strain on supply chains

Like other manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz is also affected by supply shortages for semiconductors. “The situation should improve this year,” said Källenius. Mercedes sold significantly fewer cars from January to the end of March compared to the same period last year. The decline in sales is solely due to the shortage of semiconductors, and the demand for cars is high, it said.

However, the war in Ukraine is again exacerbating bottlenecks in certain components. The Stuttgart-based company works with suppliers from the Ukraine, who, according to Källenius, supply cable harnesses, among other things. In Russia, production and sales were interrupted, but customers with existing leasing and financing contracts are still being looked after.

Last year, Mercedes obtained raw materials such as the precious metal palladium from Russia. The combined share of Russia and Ukraine in the Mercedes business has so far been around two percent. “We are complying with the sanctions,” said Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm, referring to Western sanctions against Russia.

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