Hyundai has completed the acquisition of a decommissioned General Motors factory in Shushary (St Petersburg), Russia, as per company spokeswoman Yulia Tikhonravova.
The plant was built by GM back in 2008 and held a capacity of up to 100,000 units per year. However, the U.S. carmaker had to shut it down in 2015 as part of its decision to reduce its international operations, reports Reuters.
The spokeswoman added that the deal was actually closed in early November, and that it is too early to say when Hyundai might be able to begin production. She also didn’t mention which models could be built there.
“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,” added Alexey Kalitsev, head of Hyundai’s Russia unit.
Both Hyundai and Kia already have a factory in Russia, with a manufacturing capacity of more than 200,000 units per year. In 2019, the two brands sold a combined 400,000 vehicles in Russia.
As of right now, Hyundai sells the following nameplates in Russia: Solaris, Creta, Elantra, i30 N, Sonata, Tucson, Santa Fe, Palisade, and the H-1 passenger van.
According to Kalitsev, the Russian market will face a decline of roughly 10% to 1.55 – 1.66 million cars, compared to last year, with Hyundai targeting to sell 163,000 units. Meanwhile, the Association of European Business (AEB), responsible with tracking new passenger cars and light commercial vehicle sales in Russia, expects the country’s car market to drop by 13.5% overall to 1.52 million vehicles this year.