UPDATE 1-Korea automaker Ssangyong suspends Russia exports on weak rouble
* Ssangyong ships no vehicle to Russia in Jan, Feb - data
* Says no plan to resume exports until rouble stabilises
* Says to boost exports to Western Europe, China to offset Russia sale (Add spokesman comment, context)
SEOUL, March 19 (Reuters) - South Korea's Ssangyong Motor said it has suspended vehicle shipments to major export market Russia since January, the latest global automaker to see demand hit by the plunging rouble and a prolonged economic slump.
South Korea's fourth-largest automaker, owned by Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra, has no plans to resume shipments to Russia until the rouble stabilises, and will boost sales to Europe and China instead, a spokesman added.
Russia's once-promising car market has seen demand dwindle as the economy weakens, battered by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and sliding oil prices.
The tumbling value of the rouble has also raised prices of imported vehicles, further curbing global automakers' sales.
On Wednesday, General Motors said it would shut a Russian factory and wind down its Opel brand in the country, while Nissan Motor also said earlier this week that it was suspending Russia production for 16 days this month.
Ssangyong Motor is taking a bigger hit than other foreign brands in Russia because it does not have a local production base: all its vehicles are made in Pyeongtaek city, South Korea. Продолжение...