Hyundai Completes Czech Auto Plant

In additon to producing compact cars the company will begin manufacturing a sport-utility vehicle.

South Korea's leading automaker Hyundai Motor said on Sept.24 it had completed its $1.64 billion Czech Republic manufacturing plant, reinforcing its drive to boost sales in Europe.

With plant's completion, Hyundai said it now has a production foothold in all major markets. "This global production network will enable the company to supply top-quality vehicles to customers around the world more quickly and efficiently," Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-Sun said.

Hyundai started mass production at the Czech plant in November last year. Currently, the facility is producing the i30 and i30cw compact cars.

In the second-half of this year, Hyundai plans to begin manufacturing a sport-utility vehicle at the new factory.

The facility will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles in 2011, Hyundai said, up from its current capability of 200,000.

The company aims to sell 336,000 units in Europe this year, up 17.2% from last year, helped by rising demand for small cars.

It has stepped up production from its overseas plants to reduce transportation costs and cushion losses from foreign exchange volatility.

Hyundai, with affiliate Kia Motors, is the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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