Hyundai Motor plans to build third plant in China image

Hyundai Motor plans to set up a third production plant in China to meet growing demand for its vehicles, Reuters reported today.

Hyundai was in talks with Chinese companies to build a factory in the country, an unnamed industry source said. The Korean carmaker may also buy a Chinese carmaker which is urged by government to make an acquisition amid a shake-up in China’s auto industry.

“Hyundai will build its third factory with an initial annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, and later expand the capacity to 300,000 vehicles,” the source was quoted as saying. The company was reviewing a plan to start construction next year, with completion scheduled for 2012, it added.

Beijing Hyundai, a 50-50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor Co. and Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Corp (BAIC), has two plants in China with a combined capacity of 600,000 units. The venture sold 257,003 cars in the first half of this year, up 56% from a year earlier.

Hyundai recently raised its 2009 sales target in China (to 450,000 cars) for a second time because of stimulus measures by Chinese government to boost demand, and as the company plans to launch new models.