Western sanctions brought Russia’s car industry to a screeching halt earlier this year, writes The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 1, 2022). As it restarts, it is emerging smaller, technologically backward and more isolated—a foreshadowing of what could be in store for the rest of the embattled Russian economy.
Within weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most Western car companies curtailed operations in the country. Sanctions cut off the supply of parts and, one after another, Russian car plants stopped production, with car production down 97% compared with a year ago. But as some Russian plants are now reopening, the restart features cars that were a far cry from prewar models, lacking air bags, anti-lock braking-system sensors or electronic stability-control technology, an industry standard.