A report in the Korean Herald says that Hyundai Motor is planning to build an automotive parts manufacturing plant in Bulgaria. The final decision is due to be made before the end of the year.

The Korea Herald cites as source a Bulgarian government press statement released last week.

However, it is still unclear exactly what form the investment will take – the report says that a joint venture with a local business partner is possible, as is a wholly owned subsidiary.

The Korea Herald points out that Bulgaria’s low cost-base is emerging as a strong attraction to carmakers with manufacturing sector wages averaging out at just US$135 per month. A 17% unemployment rate is also encouraging the government to actively push for inward investment.

Hyundai Motor is to begin feasibility work next year on plans for a car plant in low-cost central Europe. The plant would be constructed and come into operation ‘after 2005’ according to comments attributed to company president Kim Dong-Jin.

Hyundai’s overseas expansion plans are in top gear at the moment, with a plant being constructed in the USA (Montgomery, Alabama) and plans to make vehicles at a new plant in China.