SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday it will complete a $400 million plant in Russia by 2009, extending its presence in a country that is its fourth-largest car market by sales.
The construction of the automobile plant — with a planned capacity of 100,000 units a year — will begin in the first half of next year in St. Petersburg. It will be Hyundai Motor's sixth overseas facility.
Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Kim Dong-jin and St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko signed a memorandum of intent on the project Monday at Hyundai's headquarters in Seoul.
Russia's automobile market is expected to grow to 2.85 million vehicles in sales by 2008 and 3.5 million units by 2011, compared with 2 million units in 2006, said Hyundai.
The carmaker sold a combined 130,166 vehicles in Russia between January and November, up 44 percent from 90,424 vehicles in the same period last year.
In all of 2006, Hyundai said it sold a total of 100,685 units in the country and accounted for 10.5 percent of Russia's imported car market.
Hyundai Motor Co. has been expanding aggressively in overseas markets in recent years and now has factories in China, India, Turkey and the United States. Another is being built in the Czech Republic.
Affiliate Kia Motors Corp. opened its latest plant earlier this month in China, its second there.
Hyundai and Kia together form the world's sixth-largest car-making group and aim to crack the top five by 2010.