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Hyundai drives up domestic sales

2010-12-21 10:57

SEOUL, South Korea - Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea's largest carmaker, raised its 2010 vehicle sales forecast for China, saying new models may help boost deliveries in the country to more than 700,000 units.

Hyundai, which in November forecast full-year sales of about 690,000 vehicles in the world's largest auto market, will introduce its latest Sonata midsize sedan in the country early next year to tap growing demand, said Noh Jae-man, president of the company's Chinese venture, on Monday.

The Seoul-based carmaker's sales in China increased this year from last year's 570,000 vehicles after new models including Verna compact cars and ix35 sport-utility vehicles lured buyers, according to the statement. The company is constructing a third plant in China to boost annual capacity by 400,000 vehicles to 1 million.

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Hyundai said in October it plans to form a 500 billion won ($430 million) venture with Ziyang Nanjun Automobile Co next year to enter China's commercial vehicle market.

The venture will take over Ziyang's commercial-vehicle operation, which has annual output capacity of 120,000 units. It will target sales of 90,000 heavy trucks and buses in China next year, rising to 300,000 in 2015, Hyundai said at the time.

Kia Motors Corp, Hyundai's affiliate, also plans to start sales of its midsize K5 sedans in China in the first half, the company said in a separate statement on Friday.

Bloomberg News

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