Hyundai is planning to leave Russia completely if the local government approves a deal between the South Korean automaker and a Kazakh company. Nothing is official yet but Korean media reported earlier this month the negotiations between Hyundai and the Kazakh investor are now in the final stages. Before anything goes official, however, the deal needs to be approved by the Russian authorities.
Hyundai suspended its operations in the country last year, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine started. About a year ago, the company said it was reviewing various options for its Russian business but nothing has been made official since then. In a new statement emailed to Reuters, Hyundai said that the process continues and no decision has been taken so far.
"It is true that there are ongoing discussions regarding the sale, but nothing has been decided," Hyundai told South Korean TV network MBC. Hyundai has been producing around 200,000 cars annually in Russia, representing roughly 4 percent of its global production capacity. Before the war in Ukraine, Hyundai was also among the top three selling marques in Russia together with Renault and Kia.
The South Korean manufacturer is the next company from the automotive sector to exit Russia. Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Renault, Suzuki, Stellantis, Honda, and many more already left the country following Russia’s economic sanctions and trade bans. Just recently, Volkswagen found itself in a situation where it has to deal with the local court over allegations from GAZ that the German firm broke an existing arrangement for producing VW vehicles in Nizhny Novgorod.
Renault, in turn, sold 100 percent of its shares to Moscow City, which renamed the French brand’s Moscow plant to Moscow Automobile Factory Moskvich. Since December last year, the revived Moskvitch brand has been producing rebadged versions of Chinese manufacturer JAC at the factory, though sales haven’t been especially great, according to reports.