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December 21, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Hyundai to launch US$400m venture with Chinese partner

HYUNDAI Motor Co said yesterday that it had agreed to launch a US$400 million truck manufacturing venture in China with a local partner as it seeks further inroads in the world's biggest auto market.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest auto maker, said it signed an initial agreement with Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Baotou Bei Ben Heavy-Duty Truck Co and has set a sales target of 100,000 heavy duty trucks in China by 2014.

Under the deal, signed over the weekend in Seoul, the two companies will invest a total of US$400 million to set up the 50-50 joint venture next year, Hyundai said. It will take over the Chinese company's existing large truck business that can manufacture 40,000 vehicles a year.

Hyundai, which already makes passenger cars in China, said it will initially focus on heavy duty trucks in the new venture and gradually boost its investment to include what it described as a "full lineup of commercial vehicles."

"The joint venture will initially launch a refreshed Baotou Bei Ben model and then launch a brand new model by 2012 with input from Hyundai's modern technology and equipment, gaining competitiveness in the Chinese commercial vehicle market," Hyundai said.

"Entering China's commercial vehicle market is essential in establishing Hyundai's reputation as the most comprehensive car manufacturer in the world's largest auto market," Choi Han-young, vice chairman in charge of Hyundai's commercial vehicle division, said.

"Our business in China will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our global sales target of 200,000 units in commercial vehicles by 2013," he added.

Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors Corp form the world's fifth-largest automotive group and have been expanding aggressively overseas.

Hyundai has factories in China, India, Turkey, the United States and the Czech Republic. Kia, in addition to its recently opened US plant, is also in China and Slovakia.

Hyundai also plans to enter the commercial vehicle market in the US within two to three years.


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