Gas from Russia: Mercedes is preparing to stop deliveries

Status: 04/29/2022 15:52

So far it has not been clarified which companies should have done 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.

Carmaker Mercedes-Benz is preparing for a possible shutdown of gas supplies from Russia. Like any company, Mercedes is also checking what dependencies there are and how you can make yourself more independent from gas, CEO Ola Källenius explained to the news agency today. Reuters: “It is still too early to assess what scenario might 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 carmaker would be affected by the rationing, Källenius said. . The Stuttgart are therefore in contact with the authorities. If the gas were to become scarce, the Federal Network Agency would distribute it.

The Russian group Gazprom has halted gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria against the backdrop of European sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine. So far, Germany has not been affected by a similar export ban from Russia. At the same time, however, the debate in the European Union continues on whether EU states should stop their gas imports.

“We need an active strategy on raw materials in Europe”

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

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

The war in Ukraine also puts a strain on supply chains

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

However, the war in Ukraine is again exacerbating bottlenecks in some components. The Stuttgart-based company works with Ukrainian suppliers who, according to Källenius, supply cabling among other things. In Russia, production and sales have been halted, but customers with existing leasing and financing agreements are still the center of attention.

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

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