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By Giulio Piovaccari
TURIN, Italy (Reuters) -Truck and bus maker Iveco Group has decided to exit its joint venture in Russia after considering the move for months, as a consequence of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Chief Executive Gerrit Marx said on Wednesday.
Iveco has a 33% stake in the AMT truck assembly joint venture with a local partner. Earlier this year, Marx said Iveco had started assessing whether to exit the JV and that, in the meantime, it had suspended its participation in the JV's activities.
"The decision has been taken, we have transferred our stake to our (former) local partner, we're out," Marx said during a company presentation in Turin.
The AMT joint venture was formed in 1994 and had a plan to produce between 600-700 trucks this year.
"After years of cooperation, the transfer will take some time," Marx said. Asked about the financial terms of the transaction, he replied "It's not a matter of finance here".
Iveco on Wednesday also said it would partner with Hyundai Motor's HTWO to equip its future hydrogen-powered buses in Europe with fuel-cell systems designed by the South Korean group hydrogen mobility brand.
The two groups earlier this year signed a preliminary deal to explore collaboration on shared vehicle technology, joint sourcing and mutual supply.
Iveco did not provide financial terms of the collaboration.
The head of Iveco's bus business unit Domenico Nucera said the company planned to produce more than 3,000 zero- and low-emission buses in the coming years, starting from 2023, in its plant in the city of Foggia, in southern Italy.
"If the market feedback is positive, our aim is to proceed with an annual rate of 1,000 units," he said.
Iveco has earmarked R&D investments for around 450 million euros in Italy for this year.
The group also said on Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based shared mobility company Via, for possible future cooperation in public transport and digital services for buses.
Iveco is controlled by Exor, the holding company of Italy's Agnelli family, which in 2020 bought a 9% stake in Via Transportation, a U.S.-based shared mobility company.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Giulia Segreti, Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)