© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Hyundai booth displays the company logo at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co plans to exit Russia and sell its manufacturing plants there to a Kazakh company, South Korean media reported on Wednesday.
South Korean TV network MBC reported that negotiations to sell Hyundai’s factories in Russia are in the final stage, adding that the automaker has been waiting for a final approval from the Russian government.
“It is true that there are ongoing discussions regarding the sale, but nothing has been decided,” Hyundai Motor said, according to the TV network.
Hyundai Motor suspended operations at its Russian operation last year. In March, the automaker said it was reviewing “various options” for its Russian operation.
In a statement to Reuters on Thursday, Hyundai Motor said it was reviewing various scenarios for the future of its business in Russia, adding no decision had been made so far.
Many factories in Russia have suspended production and furloughed workers due to shortages of high-tech equipment because of sanctions and an exodus of Western manufacturers since Moscow invaded Ukraine last year.
Hyundai Motor, together with affiliate Kia Corp, is among the world’s top 10 biggest automakers by sales and builds about 200,000 vehicles per year in Russia, about 4% of its global production capacity.
Along with Renault (EPA:), Hyundai and Kia were among top three selling brands in Russia before the war. Now as global players have pulled out, Chinese brands are replacing them in Russia’s war economy.
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