Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp, target a 25% sales increase in China for this year. Chung Mong-koo, chairman of the automotive group (the world's fifth-largest carmaker), last Thursday talked about the swift growth and the improved quality in China's local brands. He said that the Hyundai and Kia aim to be recognized as premium brands in China.
As Chung inspected a plant of Kia Motors in Yancheng, Ziangsu, he told reporters that China, the world's largest car market, will soon be the "battleground" where the future of Hyundai and Kia will be decided.
Chung added that the group seeks to attain its sales target of 1 million this year and to be able to build a strong presence in the Chinese market. The target, which posted a 23% growth from last year, is the largest for a single country for this automotive group.
From the start of the year until today, Hyundai and Kia have sold 247,000 vehicles in China. To cope with the demand for Tucson SUVs and Verna compacts, Hyundai will build a third plant with a 300,000-unit capacity.
There's also a new Kia facility that will start construction in the second half of the year. With these new facilities, Hyundai and Kia will be able to produce a total of 1.33 million vehicles a year in China.
Hyundai has an auto joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co in China. Hyundai will also greatly benefit from the Chinese government incentives for car purchases.
Other foreign automakers, including Ford Motor, General Motors, and Volkswagen, are also increasing their capacity to meet the demand. A forecast was given by Honda Motor Co, Japan's No. 2 automaker, saying that China sales would go up by 11% this year. [via gasgoo]