SHANGHAI, March 13 South Korea's Hyundai Motor
Co this year will start making heavy-duty trucks in
China, joining rivals such as Germany's Daimler AG
and Sweden's Volvo AB in competing for a share of
China's huge market for big trucks.
Hyundai will build Trago cargo and dump trucks at a 160,000
vehicle-capacity plant in Sichuan province opening in the first
half of the year at the earliest, the auto maker said in a
statement on Thursday.
China's commercial vehicle market has been growing steadily
with increased urbanization and infrastructure investment.
Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks last year rose 21
percent from 2012 to 770,000 vehicles, according to the China
Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Hyundai already makes passenger cars in China, and last year
established a 50-50 venture with Chinese commercial vehicle
maker Sichuan Nanjun Automobile Group, with whom it is building
the plant in the Sichuan city of Ziyun.
Hyundai aims to become a significant commercial vehicle
maker with annual sales of 400,000 units by 2020, reached by
expanding line-ups and production in China, Turkey and the
Rival Daimler set up a joint venture in 2012 with China's
Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd to make Auman heavy trucks.
Last year, Volvo formed a venture with the commercial vehicle
unit of Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd.
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Norihiko Shirouzu; Additional
reporting by HyunJoo Jin in SEOUL; Editing by Christopher