Hyundai Motor Group has held a fair in Italy to give Korean components manufacturers the opportunity to make inroads into the southern European market.

The automotive group told the Korea Herald it held a 'Fiat Tech Fair', a road show for auto components, at Fiat Group Automobiles in Turin, Italy.

Hyundai Mobis, a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, hosted the event with the participation of 11 auto parts producers.

“About 240 components manufactured by Hyundai Mobis and the 11 companies were exhibited in the fair,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman said.

He said the participants could successfully promote their products in their meeting with a group of Fiat engineers.

“Fiat executive Gianni Coda expressed his willingness to expand business ties with Korean auto parts makers, acknowledging the competitiveness and quality of their products.”

The event would also have been beneficial to Korean companies as they are seeking to advance into the emerging South American market, while Fiat has been the top player with market share of 22.8% in Brazil.

Hyundai Motor Group, composed of Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis, has been holding the overseas component road shows in markets such as the US, Japan and Europe since 2002.

As a result, Korean auto parts makers have the chance to sign a variety of contracts with automakers.

Ahead of the effectuation of Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement, slated for 1 July, Hyundai Motor Group expects such fairs will accelerate exports of Korean made components.

According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, one of the local industries that will benefit most from the coming free trade deal is the automobile industry, as the FTA will remove import duties of 2.7% to 4.5% currently imposed on Korean vehicles and auto parts by individual member nations of the EU.

The combined market share of Korean automakers and auto parts makers in Europe came to 8.45% in 2010, up 72.3% year on year.

The figure will likely reach over 10% next year, KOTRA said, citing earlier remarks by Christian Wecker, a global programme manager at Bosch, that his company would increase its purchases of Korean products by 5-10% when import tariffs are removed.

More and more global carmakers are focusing on Korean made parts as Hyundai Mobis has been named one of the world’s top 10 suppliers in sales.

Its revenue jumped 28.7% to US$14.43bn last year as the company nearly doubled supply volume in North America, aided by a spike in demand for Hyundai-Kia vehicles.

The company supplies about 90% of output to Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

In a separate ranking for the North American market, the supplier grabbed 11th place with sales of $2.74 bn.