SOUTH KOREA: Hyundai completes Turkish capacity doubling
The redesigned 2013 i10 on the final line. European cars will now come from Turkey instead of India
Hyundai has completed expansion of its Turkey plant, Hyundai Assan Otomotiv Sanayi (HAOS), doubling its annual capacity to 200,000 units at a cost of US$634m, and started production of the redesigned 2014 i10.
With an additional $43m to be spent by the end of this year, the bill will reach $677m, creating more than 2,700 new jobs in Turkey.
Hyundai said last May it would move European production of its i10 from Chennai, India, to Izmit.
The plant is a joint venture owned by the carmaker and Turkey’s Kibar Holding.
This will see 90% of the cars Hyundai sells in Europe built locally. The Czech Republic factory at NoŠovice makes 300,000 vehicles a year for Europe and export markets.
Both European facilities are expected to be running flat out as Hyundai struggles to meet demand. Globally, the brand sold 4.4m vehicles last year, up 8.6% on 2011. The 144,000 sales in Europe in 2012 were up 10% in a market which dropped 7% - market share was 3.4%.
"HAOS will be the sole production centre of the new generation i10, which has a strategic importance for European markets. We will continue investing more at HAOS to produce world-class quality vehicles," said Euisun Chung, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company, at ceremony marking the completion of the capacity increase.
Established in 1997, HAOS, in Izmit, is Hyundai Motor's longest-operating manufacturing facility among seven factories outside of Korea. Originally capable of producing 60,000 units a year, the plant added 40,000 in 2006. It began producing the i20 in 2010 as European demand increased.