Hyundai buys GM’s car plant in Russia’s St. Petersburg

The logo of Hyundai Motor is pictured at the second media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China

South-Korean automaker Hyundai Motor has completed the acquisition of a General Motors factory in Russia’s St. Petersburg, Hyundai spokeswoman Yulia Tikhonravova told reporters at an online conference on Tuesday.

The GM factory with a capacity of up to 100,000 cars per year was built in Shushary in the suburbs of St. Petersburg in 2008 but closed in 2015 as part of GM’s decision to reduce its international operations.

The deal was closed in early November, Tikhonravova said, adding that it was too early to say when production would start due to the pandemic.

“If we talk about the plant in Shushary – yes indeed, it is our second plant, now we are working on possible scenarios to use this asset,” said Alexey Kalitsev, head of Russia’s Hyundai unit.

Hyundai and its partner Kia already have a factory in Russia with a manufacturing capacity of more than 200,000 vehicles per year. The two carmakers sold more than 400,000 vehicles in Russia last year.

The Association of European Businesses (AEB), which tracks sales of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia, expects the country’s car market to fall by 13.5% to 1.522 million vehicles this year.

According to Kalitsev, the market will decline by about 10% to 1.55-1.6 million cars compared to 2019, and Hyundai itself wants to sell 163,000 units.

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