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Ford and Mercedes-Benz complete their exits from Russia

Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz are the latest Western companies to close up shop in Russia, with the moves coming more than eight months after Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

"We confirm that Mercedes-Benz intends to withdraw from the Russian market and to sell its shares in its subsidiaries to a local investor," a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch in an email on Wednesday. "Mercedes-Benz has already suspended the export of passenger cars and vans to Russia as well as the local manufacturing in Russia at the beginning of the year."

Harald Wilhelm, the German automaker's chief financial officer, on Wednesday alluded to the challenging business environment created by the conflict.

"The macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions continue to be characterized by an exceptional degree of uncertainty, including the war in Ukraine, its effects on supply chains and on the availability and the development of prices for energy and raw materials," he said in a statement regarding the company's third-quarter earnings. "Further effects due to the rapidly changing situation in Russia and Ukraine are not currently known and have not yet been taken into account in our key figures."

Russia conducts its annual nuclear exercises as tensions rise with Ukraine 07:16

Ford also said it has completed its exit from Russia, announcing Wednesday that it has sold its 49% share in the Sollers Ford Joint Venture. The company's shares will be transferred to the joint venture for a nominal value, with Ford retaining the option to repurchase them within five years, "should the global situation change," the company stated.

The sale comes after Ford suspended all operations in Russia in March, including manufacturing, supply of parts and engineering support.

Among other automakers, Japan's Nissan left Russia earlier this month, echoing a step made by Toyota in September. Hundreds of other U.S. brands including McDonald's, Nike and Starbucks have announced plans to withdraw, curtail or close down their Russian operations this year. 

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