Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, denied a media report Wednesday that it is seeking to build a factory in Mexico, calling it "groundless."
Bloomberg earlier reported that Hyundai Motor is pushing to build a plant in Mexico, citing an interview with a high-ranking official of the local unit of the automaker. He was quoted as saying that Hyundai's car production in the country will likely start in a few years.
"That is his personal opinion, and the decision to build a plant is totally up to the group here," a Hyundai official said on customary condition of anonymity. "We have not even considered it, and the report on the plant construction is groundless."
Mexico is emerging as one of the largest automobile markets in Latin America. The country produced 3.22 million vehicles last year, the seventh most in the world and the most in the region. Its annual domestic car sales also topped 1 million, the second highest in the region following Brazil.
The strong demand is encouraging major foreign brands, including Nissan, GM and Volkswagen, to build local production plants there.
Speculation has been lingering that Hyundai might also be pursuing a new factory there to capitalize on the country's relatively low labor costs, lowered trade barriers and strong demand. Kia Motors Corp., a smaller affiliate of Hyundai Motor, is already constructing a plant there. (Yonahp)