Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony for a full-cycle plant of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus during his visit to St Petersburg
21 september 2010
Before the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister was taken around the plant and told about its features. This is Hyundai's first full-cycle plant in Russia. It consists of four lines - stamping, welding, painting and assembly, and is located on an area of 200 hectares. Its buildings have a floor space of 100,000 square metres. The plant will produce 150,000 cars a year.
Mr Putin was especially interested in two things - quality control and personnel training. Boris Rovensky, the stamping line manager, told him that production is highly automated, with the process controlled by special systems that have been adjusted for Hyundai products.
Responding to the prime minister's question about wages, Mr Rovensky said the average pay is 26,500 roubles a month and that half of the workers were from St Petersburg and the other half from the surrounding Leningrad Region.
"He speaks in such detail, it's as if he was born at Hyundai," Mr Putin said about Mr Rovensky while speaking with Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-Koo.
"We pay considerable attention to training," Mr Chung replied.
After Vladimir Putin made his address at the opening ceremony, he and Hyundai representatives pressed the start button and the first Solaris car rolled of the conveyor line. Mass production of the model will begin in January 2011.
Vladimir Putin's address at the opening ceremony:
Dear friends, Korean and Russian colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.
Today is a memorable day not only for those present here at the opening ceremony of Hyundai's new plant in St Petersburg, but also for all car fans in Russia. We are unveiling a high-tech plant of a company that is recognised across the world for its high production standards. This plant will produce cars that will meet Russian needs.
The groundbreaking ceremony for this plant, which was built from the bottom up, was held barely two years ago, in June 2008. Today, in mid-September 2010, we are opening the new plant. It should be said that it was built despite the global financial downturn, that the Hyundai management has not curtailed their plans but did just as we had agreed and in accordance with their development plans in Russia.
This is Hyundai's sixth plant abroad. I hope very much that it will be no less successful that its plants in other countries. What is the most important thing to us, to the Russian economy? The most important thing is that this is a full-cycle plant, with operations ranging from steel stamping to assembly. This signifies that modern technology and high production standards are coming to Russia, creating high-tech, prestigious and well-paid jobs. This will also provide considerable funds - more than 30 billion roubles in the next few years - to all taxation systems.
Mass production will begin at the plant as soon as next year; it will produce 100,000 cars in 2011 and increase production in subsequent years. Total investment in this project was about $500 million. All of this is good news; it speaks to the scale of production at the plant.
I have recently met with the South Korean president in Moscow. We talked about the continued development of intergovernmental and economic relations and, of course, about today's event, the opening of this Hyundai plant. The South Korean leadership also believes that today's event is very important, in particular because it is taking place at the time when we are celebrating 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and the Russian Federation.
I would like to thank our Korean friends, the Hyundai management, both for their decision [to build a plant here] and for the way they have implemented it. You can rest assured that the Russian government and the city's authorities will do their best to support your efforts and to ensure the success of your business in Russia so that this joint project yields profit and satisfaction.
Thank you and all the best to you. Thank you.
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After the ceremony, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-Koo took a brief ride in a Solaris sedan, a model that will be assembled at the plant.