Hyundai Begins Production at New Russian Plant
- Hyundai’s sixth overseas manufacturing facility
- Plant to produce Solaris, sedan designed specifically for Russian climate, drivers
- 1,300 new jobs created at state-of-the-art Saint Petersburg plant
Hyundai Motor Company, the fifth-largest automaker by sales in Russia, today officially began production at its plant in Saint Petersburg, the company’s sixth and most modern overseas assembly plant.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia (HMMR) will make the Solaris sedan, which features Hyundai’s eye-catching fluidic-sculpture design and innovative features to meet Russia’s demanding climate.
“This is a historic moment, not only for Hyundai, but for Russia, as we are the first foreign automaker to operate a full-cycle manufacturing plant here,” said Gui-Il Chun, General Director of HMMR, a fully-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company. “We are now truly part of Russia and we will focus on supplying customers with the best products at the best time.”
The plant currently employs more than 1,300 workers, many of whom were trained at Hyundai factories in Korea and the Czech Republic. Hyundai said in September that it aims to create 5,300 jobs by 2012, together with eleven parts suppliers.
HMMR is equipped with the latest assembly technology, providing a high level of automation in the production process. At several stations, for example, 85 percent of the welding is automated.
The plant’s annual capacity is 150,000 vehicles, while this year’s production target is 105,000 units.
In addition to the new Russian plant, Hyundai Motor has overseas manufacturing facilities in China, India, the United States, Turkey and the Czech Republic. HMMR is part of Hyundai’s strategy of building assembly sites in the fast-growing BRIC countries. Hyundai began construction of a third plant in China late last year and plans to break ground later this year on a plant in Brazil.
Solaris is powered by Hyundai’s Gamma engine, delivering superior horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency in a compact, lightweight package, delivering on Hyundai’s pledge to be the global leader in eco-friendly vehicles.
The Gamma, available in 1.6L and 1.4L displacements, is a DOHC inline four-cylinder multiport fuel-injection engine with CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing).
Solaris is designed with Russia’s weather, roads and drivers in mind. Hyundai engineers began by raising Solaris’ ground clearance to 160mm. Standard features include a larger-than-average four-liter washer fluid reservoir with fluid-level sensor to warn drivers when a refill is required, a robust 60Ah battery for improved cold-start performance and a heater duct for rear-seat passengers. Options include front-seat heaters, side-mirror heaters and a heater for the windshield wiper rest.
Solaris offers options seen for the first time in the Russian market in a value-class vehicle, including an engine start button, keyless access, Bluetooth and six airbags. The vehicle name was chosen in a public contest in Russia.