It’s a scenario already familiar to Japanese automakers but now Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group has built more cars overseas in a year than it made at home in South Korea.
The group made over 2m vehicles at its overseas plants in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) last year, according to the Maeil Business Newspaper.
This came after Hyundai Motor completed construction of another plant in Brazil in the second half of 2012, allowing the group to have manufacturing locations in all four BRIC countries. As a result, the group’s overseas production exceeded its domestic production for the first time.
Hyundai Motor manufactured 1.57m cars at its plants in BRICS and Kia Motors produced 435,459 cars at its plant in China between January and November last year, totaling over 2m million vehicles in output, the Korea Automobiles Manufacturers Association (KAMA) said.
This indicates the combined production of the two companies for the first 11 months last year passed 1.93m, their total output of the whole year, with 60% of their overseas output coming from their plants in BRICs, the newspaper said.
The operating ratios of the plants in BRICs are also high. The operating ratio of Hyundai Motor’s plant in Russia was 112.7% between Q1 and Q3 while that of its plant in India was 99.8%, higher than the 98.7% of the domestic production sites.
Meanwhile, Hyundai’s new plant in Brazil manufactured 17,000 vehicles in less than three months since it began operation in September to build the Brazilian hatchback HB20 model.
The group’s output in foreign plants for the first 11 months last year exceeded its domestic output for the first time, buoyed by the good performance of its plants in BRICs.
Though the group is unlikely to significantly boost its overall production, overseas production is forecast to steadily rise and the company’s third plant in China is set to be complete in 2014, the paper noted.