13 Feb 2024 12:39

Former Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg renamed AGR Automobile Plant

ST. PETERSBURG. Feb 13 (Interfax) - The former plant of South Korean Hyundai Motor Company in St. Petersburg, now owned by Russian auto holding AGR Automotive Group, has changed its name to the AGR Automobile Plant (Avtozavod AGR LLC), the Unified State Register of Legal Entities shows.

The general director of Avtozavod AGR LLC is Alexey Kalitsev, who was appointed general director of the AGR holding in January 2024. He has been a senior manager at Hyundai's Russian representative office, Hyundai Motor CIS LLC, since 2010, and was responsible for the development strategies for the Hyundai and Genesis brands in Russia. He served as managing director of Hyundai's Russian subsidiary from 2017 onward. Kalitsev is also the current chairman of the automakers committee of the Association of European Businesses (AEB), and a member of the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

As reported, in January 2024, the parent company of the AGR auto holding, Art-Finance LLC, closed a deal to acquire 100% of the shares of the former Russian production subsidiary of Hyundai. The company now combines St. Petersburg production sites in Kamenka (formerly produced Hyundai and Kia models) and Shushary (former GM plant).

Art-Finance LLC, headed by the former president of the Avilon dealer holding, Andrei Pavlovich, was registered in Moscow in February last year. In May, it purchased the assets of the Russian representative office of Volkswagen, including its car plant in Kaluga. It became known that Hyundai's Russian assets would also be sold to Art-Finance by the end of 2023.

AGR did not disclose the terms of its deal with Hyundai. South Korea's newspaper The Chosun Ilbo said that the transaction price was approved at a symbolic level of 140,000 won, or approximately 10,000 rubles.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said in early February that mass production of cars at the former Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg could begin in Q2 2024.

AGR LLC (formerly Volkswagen Group Rus LLC) was the official importer and manufacturer of Volkswagen Group cars from 2003 to 2023. The company changed its name in June 2023, which was the first step in the transformation and restart of the business after the transfer of VW's Russian assets to Art-Finance.

The Hyundai automobile plant in St. Petersburg started up in 2010. Production was suspended in March 2022 due to difficulties with supplies of components. Until the spring of 2022, the enterprise, with a capacity of more than 200,000 cars per year, produced the Hyundai Solaris, Hyundai Creta, Kia Rio and Kia Rio X-Line models. The company's revenue decreased 75.6% in 2022 to 50.3 billion rubles, with an 18.8 billion ruble net loss against 11.2 billion rubles of net profit the previous year.