Hyundai has officially opened its manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, today (21 September) with mass production scheduled to begin in January next year.

Annual production at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia (HMMR) is slated at 105,000 vehicles in the first year, which will increase to 150,000 units per year in 2012.
 
Hyundai Motor now has six production facilities outside its domestic market, including the US, China, India, Turkey and the Czech Republic.
 
"Hyundai Motor Company plans to create 5,300 jobs by 2012 in St. Petersburg together with eleven parts suppliers from Korea and furthermore, contribute to the advancement of Russia's automotive industry by developing and supporting local automotive parts manufacturers," said Hyundai chairman Mong-Koo Chung.
 
There are around 2,000 people currently working at the plants of HMMR and its suppliers. A large number of Russian employees were sent to Hyundai's plants in Korea and the Czech Republic for training.
 
From steel stamping to assembly, HMMR will carry out full-cycle manufacturing, claiming to be the first foreign automaker to have such a facility in Russia.

The automation ratio in the welding shop is estimated to be more than 50% with Hyundai Motor's aiming for 80%. At today's opening, Hyundai Motor unveiled the first car to be produced at HMMR, a four-door sedan to be known as the Solaris and powered by a Gamma 1.4L or 1.6L engine

Hyundai Motor plans to sell 85,000 units of Solaris annually in Russia starting next year, including the five-door hatchback model which will join the line-up later in 2011.