Hyundai Motor to sell LCVs with Turkish firm

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Hyundai Motor to sell LCVs with Turkish firm

Hyundai Motor is aiming to tap the market for light commercial vehicles in Europe after it signed a contract with Turkey’s Karsan.

Korea’s largest automaker said yesterday it signed an agreement to produce Hyundai-branded light commercial vehicles (LCV) at Karsan’s production facility in Turkey. Hyundai will reportedly invest $200 million in the joint project, while Karsan will spend $60 million.

Both sides committed to a framework agreement in June 2011.

Production is set to start by the end of 2014 on a complete knock-down (CKD) basis as the parts will be supplied from Korea.

Hyundai said it will develop three commercial vehicles: A small bus, a cargo van and a truck. They are due to be exported to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Caucuses, with Hyundai planning to produce 200,000 in the first seven years.

Karsan, established in 1966, is one of the leading commercial vehicle makers in Europe. The company, which rivals Ford Otosan and Tofas in Turkey, has been producing Hyundai’s Mighty, a midsized truck, since 2007. It has also been a contract manufacturer of other auto brands like Peugeot, Citroen and Renault Truck.

“With Karsan’s outstanding production capability and the geographical advantages offered by Turkey, we have prepared a stepping stone to make inroads into the European light commercial market,” Hyundai said in a release.

“We will complete a full lineup of commercial vehicles in Europe and become a leading brand in the category.”

By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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