It was a holiday: Ilya Klebanov, Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-West Federal District, Governor of St. Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, heads of the Hyundai company, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Russia … They watched this event Korean company’s officials, dealers and suppliers, and media representatives.
The scale here is considerable! The Koreans plan to invest in the plant, which will begin to work in December 2010, 330 million euros. (Prices and scales are growing - the first car assembly projects in Russia “pulled” “only” $ 120-150 million.) Large-scale sales will begin in January 2011, and by the end of 2011 it is planned to achieve maximum productivity - 100 thousand cars in year. About 4 thousand people will work at the plant and its "companions": 1700 - on assembly lines, another 2200 jobs are planned to be created at suppliers' enterprises. Indeed, many of the traditional Hyundai allies are also planning to settle in the Kamenka industrial zone in the future.
When asked which cars will get out of the gates of the assembly shop in two and a half years, the concern's managers answered very evasively. But something became known from the European headquarters of the company. To win the Russian motorist, Hyundai uses the strategy of competitors: after Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen Wagen, the Koreans decided to prepare a special model - a cheap C-class sedan with engines of 1.4–1.6 liters. The new model will first be mastered in China and Korea: this will happen in early 2010, a year later, assembly will begin in Russia. If the car gains popularity in the markets of these countries, Hyundai will begin its deliveries to Europe.
A little earlier, the president of the European branch of the company, An Gong Hee, let slip that designers would take the platform on which Hyundai-i30 and KIA-Sid are already being launched. In a word, another competitor to the popular Renault Logan may appear on the Russian market. It is possible that other models will be made at the plant as well, for example, it was supposed to be used to assemble a compact Hyundai-Tussan off-road vehicle in St. Petersburg. But at the ceremony, the leaders of the Korean company did not confirm this information. According to the same Mr. An Gong Hee, a year after the launch of Hyundai models at the plant, they will begin to assemble a car under the KIA brand on the same platform. After all, these companies have been merged since 1999, and in the world they already have several common plants. There is a logic in a “joint venture”: significant cost savings are the main thing. And in order to avoid internal competition, cars assembled on one platform can be bred for price and equipment. For example, to position KIA as a more expensive brand than Hyundai, or vice versa. But in St. Petersburg, the Koreans also said nothing about this plan.