Manufacturing News

Hyundai opens Chongqing plant to supply inland markets

Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. opened an assembly plant in Chongqing last week to supply China's interior markets, but the extra capacity comes at a time when Hyundai sales are plummeting.

The $1 billion (6.6 billion yuan) factory, the Korean automaker’s fifth assembly plant in China, can produce as many as 300,000 vehicles a year at full capacity. It will increase Hyundai’s annual production capacity in China to 1.65 million vehicles.

Hyundai is using the plant to eventually expand its Chinese portfolio of crossovers, which are in robust demand.

The plant’s first product is the Hyundai Verna compact sedan. The factory’s product line will expand to include another small sedan and two compact crossovers by the end of 2019.

The added capacity comes at a time when Hyundai’s China sales are plunging.

In the first six months, the joint venture’s deliveries slumped 42 percent year on year to 301,000, according to the China Passenger Vehicle Alliance, a Shanghai-based consultancy.

Chinese consumers have boycotted Korean products amid a diplomatic dispute over South Korea’s decision to install a U.S.-made missile defense system.

South Korea says it must protect itself from possible North Korean missile attacks, but Beijing argues that the system threatens China’s national security.

Beijing Hyundai, a 50-50 partnership between Hyundai and China’s BAIC Motor Group Corp., also operates three assembly plants in Beijing and one plant in Cangzhou in north China’s Hebei province.

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