Hyundais Russian factory began full production last January

Hyundai's Russian factory began full production last January

Hyundai is ready to increase annual production capacity at its car plant in St Petersburg 33% to 200,000 cars from 150,000 now, RBC Daily reported on Wednesday, citing Karry Cho, general director of Hyundai Motor CIS.

Hyundai also plans to increase exports of cars produced in Russia to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) but Russia will remain the priority for supplies, Cho said. In addition, the company plans to launch a third shift at the plant some time in November, he said.

Hyundai launched a second shift at the plant in April which allowed the company to increase daily production to 417 cars in May from 295 cars in January–March, said Denis Petrunin, managing director of Hyundai Motor CIS.

Hyundai is expected to increase production at St Petersburg plant now it is assembling a new model, the Solaris [a restyled Accent; an almost identical version called Verna was this month launched in India - ed].

Hyundai started full production of Solaris sedans in January and, in April, it became the top-selling foreign brand car with with 9,200 units sold. At present, there are about 45,000 orders for Solaris sedans, Petrunin said.

On Wednesday, Hyundai started accepting orders for Solaris hatchbacks, expected on sale from 1 June.

Hyundai plans to produce 4,200 Solaris sedans and 3,900 Solaris hatchbacks per month, Petrunin said, adding the company was ready to revise output targets if the new hatchbacks became more popular.