Kia the latest automaker to mull exiting Russia

Kia the latest automaker to mull exiting Russia

Automotive News Europe — 2022-10-25

Automotive Industry

Kia sees volatility rising in Russia with the prolonged war in Ukraine, and in a worst-case scenario, may shutter its business entirely, an executive said on 25 October.

"If you ask me one negative factor for sales, I would say volatility in Russia may accelerate next year and the automobile market itself may completely shut down for a while," Woo-Jeong Joo, Kia's executive vice president, said during an earnings call. "We may consider doing an after-service business only, because we basically can't supply cars there."

Kia's sales in Russia plunged almost 65% this year through September with about 57,000 cars delivered in the nation versus a 4.1% decline in sales globally.

Kia makes cars in Russia at a plant in St. Petersburg run by affiliate Hyundai Motor. The facility has an annual capacity of 200,000 cars and employs some 2,200 workers, according to Hyundai's website.

Kia on 25 October reported operating profit for the third quarter that missed average analyst estimates.