South Korean parts were used to build the car that Putin gave to Kim Jong-un

In recent events, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were seen together driving around Pyongyang in a Russian-made luxury limousine, showcasing their alliance against Western powers. However, despite the limousine being portrayed as a symbol of Russia’s self-sufficiency, reports show that the company behind the car relies heavily on imported parts, including those from South Korea.

The dependence on foreign suppliers for the Aurus limousine highlights Russia’s ongoing reliance on Western technology, especially in the face of sanctions imposed as a result of their invasion of Ukraine. The imports for the Aurus cars included components worth millions of dollars from countries like South Korea, China, India, Turkey, Italy, and other EU nations.

Under the US sanctions in February 2024, it was revealed that Aurus LLC continued to import components, including those from South Korea, for the luxury vehicles. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the sources of these imports have come under scrutiny, especially as the car was gifted to Kim Jong-un during Putin’s visit to North Korea.

Despite the sanctions and restrictions, Aurus Motors did not respond to requests for comments on their use of foreign parts in their vehicles. Suppliers to Aurus included companies from South Korea, Italy, and Hong Kong, among others, indicating a wider network of international trade involved in the production of these luxury vehicles.

The production of Aurus cars also saw involvement from foreign carmakers like Toyota, which has since exited the Russian market following the invasion of Ukraine. This has allowed Chinese producers to take over a significant portion of the market, highlighting Russia’s limited domestic production capacity in the automotive industry.

The South Korean companies that supplied parts for Aurus vehicles, including Kyungki Industrial Co, BYT CO LTD, and Enertech International Inc, confirmed their involvement but did not comment on the potential impact of sanctions. Italian and Hong Kong-based suppliers also contributed to the production of Aurus cars, which are priced starting at over $500,000.

Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding the production of Aurus cars, the brand remains popular among high-profile customers, including Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdymukhamedov. The company sold over 100 cars in Russia in 2023 and continues to expand its production capacity with plans for additional facilities in St. Petersburg.

In conclusion, the reliance on foreign suppliers for key components of the Aurus limousine illustrates Russia’s ongoing struggles with self-sufficiency in the face of Western sanctions and global supply chain disruptions. The luxury vehicles, meant to showcase domestic prowess, continue to rely on imported technology, raising questions about the true extent of Russia’s ability to navigate international trade restrictions in its pursuit of geopolitical alliances.

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