BEIJING – Beijing-Hyundai held a groundbreaking ceremony for its third plant in the city’s Shunyi District on November 28. The plant is intended to meet rising demand after the company’s two existing plants exceeded production capacity this year, according to media reports.
The plant, with an investment of ¥6.5 billion ($956 million), is expected to have a production volume of 400,000 vehicles per year, according to a statement by Beijing-Hyundai, a joint venture between Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group) and Hyundai Motor.
Scheduled for completion in July 2012, the new plant will increase Beijing-Hyundai’s total production capacity to one million units from the current 600,000. Beijing-Hyundai will make four models at the new plant: the Hyundai i30, ix35, Verna and the YF (new Sonata).
Xu Heyi, chairman of both Beijing-Hyundai and BAIC Group, stated that the construction of the third plant indicated the beginning of a new and broader cooperation between BAIC Group and Hyundai Motor for more business and profits.
Li Feng, executive vice president of Beijing-Hyundai, said the JV will use the most sophisticated technologies and equipments in the construction, trying to make the third plant the most advanced production base in the world. When asked about Beijing’s potential vehicle control polices, Li Feng said such regulations will lead to increased demand of high-quality cars, which will provide new opportunities and challenges for Beijing-Hyundai.
According to Zhang Zhiyong, vice president of Beijing-Hyundai, the company now owns 540 dealerships in China and is expanding to the two- and three-tier cities. Beijing-Hyundai is also considering launching of its independent brand cars in those markets.
Wang Xiufu, vice president of Beijing-Hyundai, disclosed that the third plant will introduce three new models, including a C-Class, a D-Class and a SUV model. The first two cars are brand new models, which have not been put into production in any of the facilities in the world. The introduction of these models will fill the company’s gap in the high-end and luxury car market, said Wang.
In the first 10 months this year, Beijing-Hyundai recorded sales of 569,339 units of vehicles, up 26 percent from last year, according to CBU-Autostats. Sales for the entire year are expected to hit 700,000 units, according to Xu Heyi