(LEAD) Hyundai Motor decides to sell Russian plant suspended amid Ukraine war

SEOUL, Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, said Tuesday it decided to sell its Russian manufacturing plant, which has been suspended due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The company said in a regulatory filing that the sale of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus LLC in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was approved in an extraordinary board meeting held earlier in the day.

The board also decided to sell General Motors Co.'s plant in Saint Petersburg with an annual capacity of 100,000 units, which Hyundai Motor acquired in 2020.

The buyer was known as Russian firm Art-Finance LLC, with the selling price coming to 10,000 rubles (around US$111).

Hyundai Motor said the deal carries a clause under which it can buy back the factory within two years after the sale.

The automaker said it will continue to provide after-sales service to Russian buyers of its vehicles, despite the sale.

The St. Petersburg plant, launched in 2010, suspended operations in March 2022 due to challenges related to component supplies amid the war between Russia and Ukraine.

It had manufactured Hyundai Solaris, Hyundai Creta, Kia Rio and Kia Rio X-Line models with an annual capacity of over 200,000 units.

The suspension of the Russian plant sent Hyundai Motor's sales in Russia plunging. According to the Association of European Businesses, Hyundai Motor's sales tumbled to just six units in August from 2,892 a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor was once the third-largest seller of vehicles in Russia.

In 2007, Hyundai Motor entered the Russian market by setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in the country. Three years later, it completed the Saint Petersburg plant and kicked off local production the next year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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