The company is considering manufacturing under Kia, Hyundai, or BMW brands
KALININGRAD, September 27. /TASS/. Holding Avtotor from Kaliningrad plans to start manufacturing cars with electric and gas engines with a driving distance of 400 km in 2024, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Avtotor Valery Gorbunov said in an interview with TASS.
The company is considering manufacturing under Kia, Hyundai, or BMW brands, he said.
“We are starting with two models on a single platform, which allows us to unify manufacturing components. The driving distance of this model is 180 km. But we are working on the design and technological changes that will allow us to manufacture an upgraded version of this model with gas and electric engine, and increase the driving distance to 400 km. According to the plan – in 2024,” he said.
Gorbunov clarified that the price of the car will reach up to 1.5 mln rubles ($20,656). “We set this bar, but everything will depend on the volume of production and other factors, including the terms of delivery of components. We are still negotiating these issues with component manufacturers,” he added.
According to him, such car can be developed under the brand of Kia, Hyundai, or BMW, but not under Avtotor's own brand. “This is the most promising option because the market perceives a popular global brand in a completely different way than a new, unknown one. They have their own developed dealer network, needed to promote the brand's products,” he said.
“An unknown brand in a market that is still very modest has unpredictable prospects and requires huge investments. On the other hand, if we, cooperating with partners within contract production, launch a car under our own brand on the market, then we become potential competitors to our partners,” Gorbunov explained.
He added that the company is working with Kia and Hyundai to build an electric vehicle. “Together with them, we are developing a deeply localized car in terms of regulatory conditions applicable to automakers operating on the territory of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Avtotor was founded in 1994 in Kaliningrad. The enterprise was the first in Russia to start manufacturing cars of foreign brands since May 1997. Avtotor manufactures cars under the brands BMW, KIA, and Hyundai. The total production volume exceeds 2.3 mln vehicles.