Hyundai Begins Producing Cars at its New Russian Plant

Hyundai is continuing its ambitious plan to further increase global sales with the start of production at its first factory in Russia located at Saint Petersburg. The company’s sixth newest overseas assembly plant will make the Solaris, a subcompact sedan we will come to know as the new Accent.

“This is a historic moment, not only for Hyundai, but for Russia, as we are the first foreign automaker to operate a full-cycle manufacturing plant here,” said Gui-Il Chun, General Director of HMMR, a fully-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company. “We are now truly part of Russia and we will focus on supplying customers with the best products at the best time.”

The Korean firm's Saint Petersburg factory currently employees more than 1,300 workers, but Hyundai has stated that it aims to create some 5,300 jobs by 2012, together with eleven parts suppliers. The plant’s annual capacity is said to be around 150,000 vehicles, while this year’s production target is 105,000 units.

The plant's first car, the Solaris, will be offered with a four-cylinder gasoline engine available in 1.4- and 1.6-liter displacements. Hyundai said the subcomact sedan has been adapted to cope with Russia’s vicious weather and tough road conditions. Aside from raising the car's ground clearance to 160mm, the company's engineers also added a large four-liter washer fluid reservoir with fluid-level sensor to warn drivers when a refill is required, a more robust 60Ah battery for improved cold-start performance and a heater duct for rear-seat passengers.