Brazil’s national development bank BNDES recently declared that it approved a loan of 307.4 million Brazilian reais ($178 million) for Hyundai Motor Co. to build its first wholly-owned factory in the South American country.

The factory will be built at Piracicaba, at 200km from Sao Paolo, with a capacity to build 150,000 annually. The factory is part of the company’s ambitious plan to overtake Ford Motor Co. (F) as the fourth largest carmaker in Brazil. The company estimates costs at about $600 million to build and the first cars will roll off the assembly line in the second half of 2012. Hyundai already has a partnership with local importers, assembling cars in the central-west state of Goias.

The factory, which is the first of the South Korean firm in Brazil, has deadline for the completion of civil works, installation and testing of equipment for the Brazilian plant is March. The produced vehicles will be provisionally called “Project HB”, specially developed for the Brazilian consumers’ needs, and will come in three models: Hatchback (5 doors), Sedan (4 doors) and Mini SUV (utility with 5 doors), equipped with 1.0L and 1.6L flex engines and manual or automatic transmission. The project will generate about 2,000 direct jobs from the first year of production and another 3,000 jobs for suppliers.


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