Malaysia’s Oriental Holdings Bhd. On Friday said it expects its unit Kah Bintang Auto Sdn. Bhd. to sell more Hyundai cars in the second half of 2003, with the Iraq war over and the introduction of newer models, Dow Jones reported.

Oriental Holdings managing director Robert Wong told reporters the company sold slightly over 2,000 Hyundai cars for January to June, the report said, but declined to give Hyundai car sales for the year-ago period, saying the company sold more than 5,000 cars for 2002.

Dow Jones said Wong, speaking at a news conference following the launch of the Hyundai Sonata 2.4 litre model, said the company’s car sales were hit in the first half of 2002 by the Iraq war and the SARS outbreak.

Wong said the company aims to sell an initial 200 units of the Sonata 2.4 litre model monthly, the news agency added.

Dow Jones said Kah Bintang currently sells the Sonata 2.0 litre and Elantra 1.6 litre models and next week will launch a new 1.5 litre model.