The Korea Herald reports that Hyundai Motor and its Chinese partner, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., have been given approval from the Chinese government to finalise a contract on the establishment of a new 50-50 car manufacturing venture.

The new venture will be called Beijing Hyundai Motor and will make the EF Sonata model to begin with.

Construction of the plant is expected to be complete by early next year, with output targeted at 200,000 units per annum by 2005 and 500,000 by 2010. Hyundai Motor is planning to invest $US1.1 billion in the project by 2010.