Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest carmaker, has formed a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., officials said Sunday.
The three companies will work together to develop a small passenger car they will market worldwide, said Lee Kae-an, chairman of Hyundai Motor Co.
Production of the car, which will have a 1.0 to 1.5-liter engine, will begin in 2002. The companies tentatively plan to produce up to 5 million in five years at their respective assembly lines in Japan, China, South Korea and Europe, Lee said.
Hyundai plans to invest $833 million in the project.
Officials at DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors were not available for comment, as their offices were closed Sunday.
In March, DaimlerCrysler AG signed an agreement to acquire a 34-percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors that would create the world’s third-largest automaker — with a production capacity of 6.5 million vehicles a year — behind General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.
Hyundai and Mitsubishi Motors have had technical alliance in developing car components since the early 1980s. Mitsubishi also owns a four-percent stake in Hyundai Motor.
Hyundai produced 1.4 million vehicles at its 17 domestic and overseas facilities last year.