Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s largest automobile parts maker, is seeking to expand its presence in Japan by consolidating partnerships with Japanese firms while Hyundai Motor, its affiliate, is set to launch aggressive marketing in the largest car market in Asia, The Korea Times reported.

The company reportedly said that it held a Korean Supplier Expo 2005 at a Nissan Motor technical centre in Atsugi City near Tokyo on September 8 to promote various made-in-Korea parts to Japanese carmakers.

“We received $US60 million in orders during the one-day event. We were surprised at the enthusiastic response from Japanese firms,” a Hyundai Mobis official told the newspaper.

The Korea Times said it was the first time for a Korean parts maker to hold an exhibition in Japan, where sales of Korean automobiles have been less than impressive.

On display were a full lineup of Mobis products, including module systems, braking systems, car audio, navigation systems and a wide range of low-end components, the company said.

The expo came amid growing demand among Japanese firms for Korean automobile products and Mobis, which has emerged as a key player in many emerging markets amid growing sales of Korean cars.

During the expo, Japanese carmakers expressed interest in Korean module systems that have achieved global competitiveness in terms of quality and technologies, the Korea Times said.

Mobis officials said the expo served as a good opportunity for Japanese firms to witness the latest trends the Korean auto parts industry and the technological accomplishments Mobis has made over the past years.

Mobis expects Japan’s top three carmakers – Toyota, Honda and Nissan Motor – to increase orders for Mobis module products, which have been supplied to a number of global carmakers, including Hyundai and KIA.

“Under our new motto, ‘Trust and Innovation’, we aim to emerge as a respected brand in Japan by expanding partnerships with Japanese carmakers,” Mobis officials told the Korea Times. “We plan to increase the supply of module systems instead of low-end items in the Japanese market.”

The report said Mobis has established module factories in Beijing and Shanghai in China and Montgomery, Alabama in the United States to support sales of Hyundai and Kia, its key affiliates. It plans to build factories in Slovakia in 2006 and India in 2007.

The company recently took over two Korean parts makers to expand its production lineup and supply products to Korean auto firms faster. It plans to increase investment in China, India and other fast-growing auto markets to strengthen its sales and marketing network, the Korea Times said.