Hyundai Motor was scheduled to begin local assembly of luxury Genesis models in Kazakhstan later this year to strengthen its presence in this important Central Asian market.

According to local reports, distributor Astana Motors KMC recently completed an upgrade of its Hyundai Trans Kazakhstan plant in the capital city Almaty, ahead of Genesis build later this year.

The plant was originally completed in 2020 to assemble Hyundai models imported in kit form from South Korea – the Sonata and Santa Fe.

The factory, which has body welding and painting facilities, so can assemble CKD kits, was understood to have annual capacity for around 45,000 vehicles on a single shift. It was expected to produce several hundred Genesis models each year, including the G90 flagship.

Hyundai Motor CEO Chang Jae-hoon visited the plant earlier this year, with a view to also bringing in South Korean parts makers to support local production.

Astana Motors CEO Beknur Muratovich said in a statement: “The commercial production of Genesis’ main models will begin this fall”, adding the company was also building Genesis showrooms in major cities ahead of sales operations.

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Separate reports suggested total vehicle sales in the country rose 60% to just under 200,000 units last year, driven by GDP growth of over 5%, with combined sales by Hyundai and sister company Kia reported to have exceeded 71,000 units.

Demand for high-end cars in Kazakhstan has also increased sharply in the last two years, with suggestions some are finding their way into the Russian grey market.