Hyundai Doubles Down On Chinese Market
Hyundai just started production at its new $790m plant outside Beijing, as it ramps up its bid to become China's largest car manufacturer. Forbes MarketScan reports that initial production at the new plant will be 200k Elantras, ramping up to 300k by 2010. This would give Hyundai's Chinese operations an annual production capacity of 600k, putting it at the top of the Chinese biz in terms of volume. But Hyundai has to match increased capacity with improved sales numbers. The Korean firm's sales were down 20 percent last year, and Chairman Chung Mong-koo has set the ambitious goal of increasing sales in the Middle Kingdom by 64 percent this year and by 100 percent by 2010. The new plant should help meet this goal, says Chung, as its economies of scale should help lower costs and increased capacity means more vehicles can be tailored to the Chinese market. With Chinese sales booming, the opportunity exists for Hyundai to score big sales. With commodity prices rising however, it remains to be seen whether the extra investment actually translates into improved profitability.
More by Edward Niedermeyer