According to foreign media reports, South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor has sold its factory in St. Petersburg to Russia's AGR Automobile Group, a move that means Hyundai Motor is about to withdraw from the Russian market after continuing Renault, Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen.
On Sept. 13, Russian media and industry sources revealed that AGR, the former Volkswagen group Volkswagen Group Rus, will buy the Hyundai HMMR plant, but the terms and amount of the deal will not be announced until the end of this month.
Hyundai officials have not yet responded to the above news.
Affected by the previous conflict between Russia and Ukraine and financial difficulties, Hyundai suspended production at its St. Petersburg plant in Russia in February last year. In October of the same year, Hyundai considered making a decision on its Russian business, including the sale of a local car manufacturing plant. At the end of December of the same year, Hyundai laid off staff in Russia because the plant had been shut down. "as the plant continues to shut down, Hyundai is taking steps to optimize its staff in Russia," Hyundai Russia said in a statement at the time. " Hyundai laid off a large number of workers at its St. Petersburg plant in February, accounting for about 88% of the total number of workers at the plant.
According to the previous report of Automotive Industry concern, Hyundai began to lay out its St. Petersburg plant in Russia in 2010 and put into production the following year, with an annual output of more than 200000 vehicles, accounting for about 4% of the global production capacity, mainly producing Hyundai small cars SOLARIS, miniature SUV Crete, Kia Rio models and so on. In 2016, the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group personally went to the Russian factory and said: "even if there are difficulties, you can not give up the Russian market." in other words, the Russian market is one of the most important markets for Hyundai.
In 2020, Hyundai acquired a former GM plant near St. Petersburg and increased its investment. In 2022, Hyundai plans to mass-produce cars at the plant and export them to European and North American markets, with an annual sales target of 455000 vehicles. However, under the influence of major environmental factors such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Hyundai's sales in Russia have been greatly impacted. Failed to achieve the production plan.
According to the data, the Russian car market sold 1667135 vehicles in 2021, of which Hyundai sold 167331, accounting for 10 per cent of the total Russian car market and about 6 per cent of Hyundai Motor Group's global sales. But hit by these factors, Hyundai's new car sales in Russia plunged 66.5 per cent to 119708 units in 2022 compared with the same period last year.
According to the latest data from the European Enterprise Association (AEB), Hyundai sold 1605 vehicles from January to August this year, down 96.5% from 46063 in the same period last year, with a market share of only 0.4%. Of these, only six vehicles were sold in August, down 99.9 per cent from 2892 in the same period last year, and market share plummeted to 0.01 per cent.
Auto Industry concern believes that although Hyundai has large-scale investment and a certain market share in the Russian market, in view of Hyundai's current development prospects in Russia, withdrawing from the Russian market may be one of the ways to stop losses in time.
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