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Daimler Truck dumps Russian army supplier Kamaz

FRANKFURT (AFP) – German heavy-goods vehicle group Daimler Truck said yesterday it would cease its cooperation with the Russian lorry-maker Kamaz in light of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of the events of the past few days, we have decided to immediately suspend our business activities in Russia,” a spokesman for Daimler Truck told AFP.

Daimler Truck said its 12-year cooperation to build Kamaz truck cabins and Mercedes brand lorries in Russia was “purely civilian in nature”.

Daimler Truck provided the Russia affiliate “with civilian heavy-goods vehicle components only”, the spokesman said, adding that it had followed “all applicable export controls and sanctions”.

Kamaz claims to be “the largest truck producer” in Russia and supplies the Russian military with armoured vehicles. The joint venture with Kamaz was agreed while Daimler Truck was still part of the larger Daimler group. The heavy-goods subsidiary split with its parent last year, with the luxury carmaker going its own way under the name Mercedes-Benz.

The former parent still holds 15 per cent of the Russian lorry-maker, having first taken a stake in 2008, according to German financial daily Handelsblatt.

Mercedes-Benz was “working at pace” to see how it could unload its holding in Kamaz as quickly as possible, it told Handelsblatt.

European companies have come under pressure to withdraw from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and the levelling of sanctions against Russian companies by Western countries.

The Mercedes star on the front of a Mercedes-Benz truck at a Daimler Truck plant in Germany. PHOTO: AFP