Stellantis will move part of the production of vans from Russia to Western Europe

The Kaluga plant also builds the Outlander and Pajero models for Mitsubishi.

Tavares said Stellantis factories in Hordain, France, and Luton, England, could easily absorb the low volumes produced in Kaluga for export.

The Kaluga plant has an annual capacity of 125,000 vehicles and started building vans in 2017 for the former PSA group, which merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last year to form Stellantis.

Kaluga, about 180 km southwest of Moscow, has become a center of the Russian automotive industry. The Volkswagen Group opened an assembly plant there in 2007, as did Volvo trucks. Major vendors in the region include Continental, Magna International and Visteon.

Tavares’ announcement came after Moscow moved to ban exports of certain goods, including vehicles and agricultural products, in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukraine crisis is driving up the price of metals used in cars, from aluminum in bodywork to palladium in catalytic converters to 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 electric vehicle batteries, are to be expected. “Stellantis hasn’t been impacted that much until our supply base is concentrated in Eastern Europe,” he said.

Mary I. Bruner