Update: Ford announced it was suspending operations in Russia and donating $100,000 to the Global Giving Ukraine Relief Fund. Jaguar Land Rover had paused vehicle deliveries to Russia, according to Automotive News Europe.
With Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Eastern Europe has been thrust into a war the likes of which haven't been seen in that region since World War II. The situation is such that automakers are beginning to offer assistance to support the Ukrainian population. However, Torsus is a manufacturer that actually has a presence in Ukraine.
Torsus specializes in some of the gnarliest off-road buses and RVs available from a manufacturer. You likely recall the Praetorian, be it as a school bus that fears no snow day or an overlanding vehicle with extreme off-grid capability thanks to its MAN underpinnings. The company also offers a smaller off-road van called the Terrastorm, using a Volkswagen platform as the starting point for a more manageable 4x4 van.
Get To Know Torsus:
Founded in 2016, Torsus is headquartered in Czechia (Prague, to be more specific) but it maintains offices and facilities in Ukraine. On February 27, Torsus offered the world an update on its staff caught in the middle of this terrible war. Fortunately, the company says family and employees are safe.
Of course, the same cannot be said for many people in the country. Our Motor1.com colleagues in Italy report that Mercedes-Benz supports the people of Ukraine both in spirit and with financial assistance. On February 25 the automaker shared a simple white image on Instagram with the phrase "For what matters most: peace." In addition, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius took to LinkedIn to announce a donation of €1 million to the Red Cross, specifically for assistance to Ukraine.
Meanwhile in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Group also pledged a €1 million donation. Taking to Twitter, the company announced it would make the donation to the United Nations Refugee Agency, directed to helping the situation in Ukraine. VW CEO Herbert Diess shared the announcement through his LinkedIn account as well.
On the manufacturing side, Reuters reports that Volvo has suspended all vehicle exports to Russia. In addition, AB Volvo has suspended production and sales in Russia. This follows similar moves last week from Daimler and Renault, freezing business activities or halting production in the country.
Sources: Reuters, Torsus