Earlier this week we posted to the Stung by Kia Facebook group, Reuters’ reporting “Hyundai Motor Co would suspend operations at its car assembly plant in St Petersburg Russia on March 1 ‘due to supply chain interruptions.'”
I, potentially as many, hoped the Hyundai Group automobile manufacturers were exerting pressure on Russia due to their invasion of Ukraine.
Motortrend in their own article chronicled how reliant Hyundai, Kia and Genesis are on Ukrainian sourced rare gases such as neon, krypton, xenon. The three manufacturers also operate a plant in Sestroretsk St. Petersburg Russia which builds Hyundai’s Tucson, Palisade and Kia Sportages for export to North America. Hyundai, Kia and Genesis produce 230,000 cars a year in Russian factories however Russia represents an even larger market. Hyundai Group sells 373,000 cars a year to Russia.
Within forty-eight hours of the Reuters article (and our naïve anticipation Hyundai Group was putting financial pressure on Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin), The Wall Street Journal published the St, Petersburg plant would indeed reopen by March 9th. Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Daimler Truck and Volvo on the other hand are all holding Putin accountable, suspending some business operations citing concern over the Ukrainian invasion.
CarScoops asked both Hyundai and Kia for comment and then published the following quote from a Kia executive:
“[The] Kia Corporation is deeply concerned by the situation in Ukraine. Our company is focused on ensuring the safety of our employees currently in the affected areas. While our overriding priority is the well-being of our people, we will continue to monitor potential disruption to our business and manage contingency plans accordingly.”
Much here is left unsaid.
Update: 04MAR2022: Reuters posted, “South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) said on Friday it has not decided when to resume operations at its assembly plant in St Petersburg, Russia, citing ongoing issues with components delivery.”