At a ceremony to mark the completion of the firm’s new plant in Cangzhou, the chairman said that Hyundai would take this as an opportunity to jump forward, stressing that the factory is built to exclusively target Chinese consumers with high-quality vehicles.
|Hyundai Motor Group’s Chairman Chung Mong-koo (center) visits the company’s new plant in Cangzhou, China, Monday. (Yonhap)|
“We will make a leap forward with the new plant as a momentum by producing high-quality cars including the new Verna at this eco-friendly and smart plant,” Chung said.
With the completion of the new factory, Hyundai has come close to reaching cumulative sales of 10 million cars in China in the 14 years since it first entered China in 2002.
“Cumulative sales of Beijing Hyundai -- a joint-venture between Beijing Automotive Group and Hyundai Motor Company -- has reached 8 million units since 2002,” he said. “With the operation of the Cangzhou factory starting today, Hyundai is now capable of producing 2.4 million units a year through eight factories in China.”
The new plant is capable of producing 300,000 units per year. It is Hyundai’s fourth in China alongside three other plants in Beijing. It also plans to build another factory in Chongqing next year.
This month, the Cangzhou plant started the production of a new version of Hyundai’s compact car Verna, strategically targeting Chinese consumers. Verna has sold around 90,000 units in China this year, taking the No. 1 spot in the nation’s compact sedan market, the company said.
Hyundai also plans to produce sport utility vehicles in the new plant to cater to the growing demand for SUVs in the nation.
SUVs have recently been the best-selling segment in the Chinese auto market, accounting for around 40 percent of total car sales in the nation.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are currently selling nine SUV models including Hyundai’s compact SUV Tucson and Kia Motors’ Sportage. The portion of Hyundai and Kia’s combined SUV sales in the Chinese SUV market has risen to 35 percent this year from 27 percent last year, the company said.
“We plan to strengthen sales of SUVs through the new plant in Cangzhou and another one in Chongqing to be completed next year,” a Hyundai’s official said.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)