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3 Jun, 2008 05:48

Russia to supply Europe with low-cost cars

Hyundai will produce a new budget car at its factory near St. Petersburg, starting from 2011. The car is planned for not only Russian consumers, but also those in Western Europe.

The low-cost vehicle will be made on the Hyundai’s low-medium platform – one that underpins the Hyundai i30 and Kia C’eed, according to Automotive News Europe.

The fortnightly newspaper has quoted Kun-Hee Ahn, president of Hyundai Motor Europe, as saying: “It is a totally new model, a kind of Elantra, and first of all intended for emerging markets like Russia, China and Korea itself.”

Allan Rushforth, the vice-president of Hyundai motors Europe, has said there is definitively an opportunity for the car in the West European market. He has, however, noted the rollout in Western Europe requires preliminary market studies.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hyundai plant will be held as part of the St. Petersburg economic forum that is to kick off in just a few days.

The $US 400 million plant will produce 100,000 cars per year.

Hyundai is currently producing its cars at the Tagaz mill in the city of Taganrog.

St. Petersburg’s novelty could lead to the end of production at Tagaz, Ernst & Young expert Ivan Bonchev told the Russian business daily Vedomosti.

The plant in Taganrog is currently producing the cheapest and the most popular car in Russia, the Hyundai Accent – a car worth a bit over $US 14,000 in its basic design.