Hyundai Motor to develop localized brand in China

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Hong Kong, Mar 31: Hyundai Motor Co. is preparing to develop a new brand exclusively for Chinese consumers, the top official of its partner company in China said today, indicating South Korea's No 1 automaker will accept the Chinese government's demand for further localization.

Hyundai Motor established Beijing Hyundai Motor Co., a 50-50 joint venture with Beijing Automotive Co. in 2002 to manufacture Hyundai-branded automobiles for the Chinese market.

"Beijing Hyundai Motor is set to develop its own car brand, apart from what has been previously produced by the South Korean car maker," said Xu Heyi, head of Beijing Automotive.

The joint venture started building its third factory in China last Nov. It's scheduled to be completed in 2012.

Some market watchers expect the localized brand will be produced there. A Hyundai official, however, earlier said that the factory is not related to producing a China brand.

Hyundai sold 700,000 cars in China in 2010. The automaker also said Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp., sold a combined 1.1 million vehicles in China for a 9 percent market share last year.

The group came in second to Germany-based Volkswagen Group, which had a 19 percent market share.

PTI (Yonhap)

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