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SOUTH KOREA: Hyundai to use own engines in CVs

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 September 2006

Hyundai Motor has said it will not use imported engines in production of commercial vehicles from 2008.

Korea's largest automaker on Tuesday (19 September) unveiled the new Trago series, a large truck developed completely with its own engine technology for the first time, the Korea Times reported.

The report added that Hyundai also plans to complete development of engines for its small and medium sized trucks by November 2007.

Speaking to reporters during a launch event, the Hyundai Motor president in charge of the commercial vehicle sector, Choi Han-young, said: "We are developing engines for all kinds of trucks including the 25-ton series Trago.''

He reportedly forecast the company would launch sales of commercial vehicles with engines developed and made 'in-house' as early as at the end of next year.

Choi added that the new engines will also meet European and US emission limits.

According to the newspaper, he also said Hyundai will increase production capacity for commercial vehicles by 10,000 units a year from 60,000 now to 100,000.

"We've secured orders totalling 80,000 units from Russia, the Middle East and Central & South America,'' he said. "When we tap the US and European markets in 2010, our goal of 100,000 units in production capacity will be possible.''

Choi told the Korea Times that Hyundai Motor plans to boost the number of staff at its Chonju plant in North Cholla Province by about 100% next year to achieve the global sales goal.

The vehicle maker has used Mitsubishi technology in its truck production, though it is producing passenger cars with its own engines. (Hyundai began production of its own-design passenger cars in the early 1980s using licence-built Mitsubishi engines.)

The Korea Times added that Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, meanwhile, has cut down the payroll of its general planning headquarters under chairman Chung Mong-koo's commitment to systemised and global management.

Through a personnel reshuffle, the business group reduced the number of workers at its planning office from 160 to 100, the newspaper said.