Continental restarts tire production at Russian factory to protect workers

The logo of Continental AG, a German automotive manufacturing company specializing in tires, brakes and vehicle safety products, is depicted on a rim at the company’s booth during the Hannover Fair in Hannover, Germany on April 25, 2016. REUTERS/ Wolfgang Rattay

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  • Restart of production to meet local demand
  • The team could face charges unless production is restarted.
  • Restarting production is non-profit

FRANKFURT, Apr 19 (Reuters) – German auto parts supplier Continental AG (CONG.DE) has temporarily resumed production of passenger car tires at its Russian factory in Kaluga, it said on Tuesday to protect local workers who could face criminal charges.

Continental said the move is aimed at meeting local demand and in line with sanctions imposed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.

“Our employees and managers in Russia face serious criminal consequences if we fail to meet local demand,” Continental said, adding that its products were made for civilian use as a matter of principle.

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Continental, which on March 8 said production at the factory had been suspended, did not elaborate on possible charges the team could face.

“To protect our employees in Russia from lawsuits, we are temporarily resuming production of passenger tires for the local market at our tire plant in Kaluga, if necessary,” he said.

Continental said the resumption of production was not a profit-oriented decision.

Nokian Tires of Finland (TYRES.HE) warned this month that EU sanctions will make it harder to sell tires in Russia, although in March it said its decision to keep its factories gave it control over where tires are sold. see More information

About half of the raw material used to make its tires in Russia came from outside the country, he said. see More information

Italy’s Pirelli (PIRC.MI) stopped investing in Russia and reduced its factories there. Pirelli produces around 10% of its global tire production at two Russian factories. see More information

President Vladimir Putin said in March that Russia could confiscate assets from companies that abandoned their operations in the country.

Russian prosecutors have also warned some Western companies that their employees could be arrested if they stop producing essential goods, a person familiar with the matter said. see More information

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Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Jan Schwartz and Josephine Mason; Edited by David Goodman and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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