Will KIA and Hyundai leave Russia?

Market players are ready: China will save car drivers

Will KIA and Hyundai leave Russia?
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Roman Khasayev

KIA and Hyundai will leave Russia till the end of 2023 — Mash Telegram channel has shared such a sensational news these days. Sanctions and the high cost of parallel import is allegedly the reason. Companies are selling out the stock, replacing billboards, employees are leaving, so to speak, and Chinese cars will be showcased instead of South Korean. Kia and Hyundai representatives rushed to deny these claims through their channels.

Not planned yet

No Limits Telegram channel shared information on the situation citing official sources at Hyundai: “No exit is planned yet. The Korean concern is trying to sell the factory, this is true, but all guarantee commitments on sold cars are met, service maintenance is provided. The Korean concern doesn’t have any concrete information about the fate of Russian assets.”

Indeed, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus factory in Saint Petersburg is up for auction for 500 billion rubles. It stopped the car production as early as March 2022 because of component supply issues. The factory’s production capacity launched in 2020 was over 200,000 cars a year.

KIA’s support service replied to RT that KIA Russia and CIS continues its operation as well as its dealership centres. KIA and Hyundia claimed the same to Izvestiya newspaper.

As Alexey Mukhanov, head of Avto.ru’s research and client analytics group, thinks, market players are ready for the possible closure of these companies’ businesses:

“Chinese cars are in Russia as an alternative. They have similar prices, they don’t lose to Korean cars in modifications.”

“As of 9 months this year, the number of Chinese brands of new cars available on the market is around 48% (absolute number is around 340,000 new cars),” the expert says. “In turn, this amount reached 53% in September, later this year, this indicator has every chance of nearing 60%. This is why the closure of the Korean business shouldn’t impact the Russian consumer.”

realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov (archive)

Mass market

At the same time, Mukhanov indicates that KIA and Hyundai cars were considered mass market and stably occupied in the tops of more sold and popular cars.

Indeed, even the most stolen cars in Russia in the last nine months 2023 was Hyundai, it accounts for 31% of all thefts. Research done by VSK’s Insurance House reads this. The anti-rating also includes KIA (24%) and Mitsubishi (7%). At the same time, KIA K5 (14% of the cases) as well as Hyundai Palisade and Hyundai Santa Fe became the most “popular” car among thieves. Gensis G80 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-class are among the most stolen cars among premium vehicles. Chery Tiggo is the leader among stolen Chinese cars. It should be reminded that 14 brands stayed in Russia among foreign car producers. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, WAG (Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Skoda) announced the cease of operations in the country, Renault, Nissan, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi and others announced the termination of their businesses.

Radif Kashapov, Daria Pinegina

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