Hyundai to challenge winning passenger rail bid

“We are shocked and humiliated.” – was the response of foreign sales director Dong Ik Woo, speaking for South Korea’s machine manufacturing giant Hyundai upon his arrival in Riga Thursday.

Representatives of the company’s railway vehicle arm Hyundai Rotem are in Latvia to file an appeal challenging Switzerland’s Stadler group’s winning offer in the Pasažieru vilciens (PV) new rail fleet tender.

He told Latvian Public Television news “we were profoundly shocked to hear this sad news. Hyundai Rotem is a globally-reputable company, supplying railway fleets around the world for the past 40 years.”

“First of all, we carefully perused our client’s official response to our bid. And so, based on your law on procurement processes, we shall continue our action plan and appeal this procurement ruling at your state procurements authority,” Dong Ik Woo went on to say.

Hyundai’s bid to replace Latvia’s aging passenger railroad vehicles came in at €284 million euros for a 15-year lease period, markedly below announced Swiss tender winner Stadler, whose lease agreement totals €412 million euros and has raised doubts over the existence of adequate financing sources for the deal. Latvia’s tender was to be a strategic opportunity for the South Korean concern to get a leg into European markets, where its products have not been widely distributed.

Media reports have speculated that PV had disqualified Hyundai’s application over news of technical problems in supplying trains to Ukraine, however the company’s representative discounts this as rumor. “We respond to all of our client’s questions in an open, transparent way. We don’t understand why our client has taken such a decision. Officially they say it’s because Hyundai Rotem supplied trains to Ukraine, but I don’t believe this is true. This opinion cannot fully be reflecting the client’s decision."

 

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