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Hyundai to open $400 mln car plant in northwest Russia

South Korean auto giant Hyundai could select a site by the end of the year to build a $400 million car plant in northwest Russia, authorities in the Leningrad Region said on Thursday.

Hyundai intends to build a plant with capacity of 100,000-200,000 cars per year in the region, which surrounds St.Petersburg. The South Korean company also plans to build other auto component plants in Russia, requiring additional investment of around $300 million. Both projects will create about 7,000 jobs, the authorities of the Leningrad Region said. Hyundai is one of the biggest sellers of foreign vehicles in Russia. In the month of October, the carmaker sold 16,489 vehicles, 92% up from the corresponding period of 2006. Hyundai has plans of expanding its overseas production to two million annually and the Russian plant is expected to aid this.

With rapidly rising purchasing power in Russia, foreign auto makers are seeking to expand their presence in the country. A number of foreign companies, including auto giants US-based Ford Motor Company, Germany’s Volkswagen, Japan’s Toyota, and France’s Renault have either opened or are building plants in Russia. (, automotive-business)