Hyundai Motor Co., Korea’s top automaker, has become a full member of an industry lobby of European carmakers, a move which company officials said would help boost Hyundai’s image and sales in the region.
Hyundai announced Friday that the company became the 17th member of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, better known as the ACEA.
A sales employee (left) explains car specifications to customers at a Hyundai Motor dealership in Germany. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor is the second Asian automaker with a full membership of the European association after Toyota Motor Corp. The company also became the fourth member of the ACEA with its headquarters based outside of Europe after Toyota, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.
The European association approved Hyundai’s membership two years after the Seoul-based company applied for the position. Hyundai began selling vehicles in Europe in 1977.
“The company sincerely welcomes the ACEA’s decision,” Hyundai Motor said in a press release. “With its official membership to the ACEA, Hyundai Motor will continue to do its utmost to help develop Europe’s automobile industry.”
Hyundai is expanding its market share in Europe after breaking the 10 percent barrier for the first time in the U.S. market.
Hyundai is operating a plant in the Czech Republic and producing up to 300,000 units a year there. Its sales network head office is located in Germany.
Last year, Hyundai sold 358,284 vehicles in Europe, up 4.7 percent from a year earlier.
By Kim Yon-se (email@example.com