BERLIN (Reuters) -BMW and Volkswagen’s premium Audi brand have suspended shipments of cars by rail from Germany to China following the war in Ukraine, the German carmakers said on Tuesday.
While both carmakers produce most of their vehicles in China, the world’s largest car market, a certain share is imported from Europe by rail or ship.
Last year, BMW delivered 846,237 BMW and MINI vehicles to Chinese customers, while it was 701,289 for Audi.
“BMW has stopped all train transport through Russia immediately after the beginning of the war. Exports to China routinely are handled by ship,” a spokesperson for BMW said, confirming an earlier Nikkei report.
Audi also proactively suspended rail transports to and from China via Russia with the Trans-Siberian Railway immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a spokesperson for parent Volkswagen said.
“We are currently examining whether transports by rail via the southern route will also be possible in the near future,” the spokesperson added.
In March, Audi said it was adjusting its manufacturing operations at its Hungarian factory, which accounts for a chunk of the country’s exports, because of the war in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey and Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru and Christina Amann in Berlin; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Miranda Murray)