General Motors is suspending all vehicle exports to Russia as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
It joins other automakers like Volvo, Volkswagen, Daimler Truck and Ford Motor Company who have reportedly ceased selling vehicles in Russia. Volvo was the first to do so, according to Reuters, citing the risks of trading material with Russia and western sanctions.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at this time. The loss of life is a tragedy and our overriding concern is for the safety of people in the region,” General Motors said in a statement.
The Detroit automaker doesn’t operate any manufacturing facilities in Russia, but it does have a national sales team in Moscow. About 3,000 General Motors vehicles are sold in Russia each year.
Western sanctions targeting banks and financial institutions have rattled the Russian economy in recent days. As the Russian ruble has plummeted 30%, the Associated Press reports, the U.S. and European Union are also looking to block banks from an international payment system known as SWIFT.
Economists are concerned the military conflict and efforts to rein in Russia will cause further harm to the auto industry, which is still struggling with supply chains strained by the pandemic. Russia is the world’s biggest supplier of palladium, a raw material used in catalytic converters, and Ukraine produces about 90% of the neon gas used in semiconductors.
Related: Michigan gas prices are climbing. Experts are now keeping an eye on Russia.
General Motors says it has limited supply chain exposure in Russia but the automaker is working with suppliers to mitigate any potential risks.
Other Michigan automakers are also responding to the military invasion.
Ford Motor Company, which has “significantly wound down” Russian operations in recent years, said Tuesday it is suspending commercial van manufacturing and Russian sales effective immediately. Industry data shows Ford sold nearly 21,000 vehicles in Russia last year.
“As part of the global community, Ford is deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace and stability. The situation has compelled us to reassess our operations in Russia,” Ford said in a statement.
Ford said it plans to donate $100,000 to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund for humanitarian aid to support Ukrainians who have been displaced for their homes.
Stellantis, the parent company for Chrysler, operates a factory in Kaluga, Russia that produces Citroen and Peugeot vehicles. A spokesperson said their ongoing business Russia has “no significant impact” on its global operations.
“We are monitoring the situation carefully in real time with the well-being of our employees, facilities and supply lines in mind. And if necessary will take appropriate measures in the interest of our employees,” Stellantis said in a statement.
Other major corporations are taking steps to suspend business in Russia as global outrage boils over the attack on Ukraine.
Movie studios WarnerBros., Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures all reportedly said they plan to pause theatrical releases in Russia. FedEx said Tuesday it suspended services in Ukraine and Russia. And global oil corporations BP and Shell plan to end Russian investments.
In Michigan, a Grand Rapids bar gained national attention last week after announcing it would take Russian-brand Smirnoff and Stolichnaya vodkas off the shelf. Since then, a handful of U.S. states have decided to boycott Russian-made spirits.
This story was updated with a statement from Ford Motor Company after the company announced plans Tuesday to suspend operations in Russia.
More on MLive:
‘We are standing on their side’: Michigan Senate passes resolution supporting Ukraine
Russia pummels Ukraine’s second-largest city as 40-mile convoy nears Kyiv
Former national security advisor calls for global rebuke of Russian invasion of Ukraine at Michigan visit