Hyundai Motor has taken an “initial step” to acquire General Motors‘ plant in St Petersburg, Russia, according to local reports.

The US carmaker completed construction of the US$300m plant in 2008 but halted operations in 2015 after it decided to withdraw from Russia along with numerous other markets worldwide.

Since then GM has held talks with several global vehicle manufacturers interested in buying the plant, including Hyundai around a year ago.

GM also had a 50% stake in a plant in Togliatti, Moscow, which it sold to its local partner AvtoVaz last year. 

Hyundai already has a 240,000 units a year vehicle assembly plant in St Petersburg which makes the Accent based Solaris passenger car, the Creta crossover and Kia light commercials with total output exceeding 91,000 units in the first half of 2020.

Hyundai Motor last week submitted proposal documents to the Russian government as a first step in the acquisition process, according to reports citing a Hyundai spokesman who pointed out “Russia’s anti-trust regulator will decide whether Hyundai will move to the next step after reviewing the documents”.