Hyundai Automotive Group has launched a financing joint venture with General Electric Co., declaring its ambitious drive to upgrade its auto financing and leasing division, reports The Korea Herald.

The group’s subsidiary, Hyundai Capital Services Inc., has been revamped as a 62:38 joint venture with GE Consumer Finance. Hyundai officials said on Saturday that the parties have finished selecting board members for the new business.

“We are excited about the future and opportunities to work together to grow on the consumer finance market in Korea. Very rarely does GE do joint ventures and I believe this is the great opportunity to partner Hyundai,” said Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE’s chief executive officer, during a one-day visit to Korea on Friday.

GE Consumer Finance agreed in August to buy 38 percent of Hyundai Capital, with an option to buy additional 5 percent in 2006. The U.S. company will commit more than 1 trillion won in the join venture, according to Hyundai officials.

The Korea Herald said that the formation is being viewed as a win-win for both Hyundai and GE. Hyundai expects to improve the financial health of the ailing sister company and bring in advanced financial expertise from the U.S. partner. GE is understood to have obtained a foothold in Korea’s 10 trillion won auto-financing market.

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