Seoul: South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor said Monday it signed a five-year agreement to enter India’s rapidly-growing luxury bus market.
The deal was signed with auto parts maker Caparo India, part of the London-based Caparo Group. Hyundai Motor will provide parts and production technology for the Aero buses, while Caparo India will build a 1,500 units-a-year factory in Chennai, the Korean firm said in a statement.
The plant will begin production in early 2009, it said, adding the complete-knock-down (CKD) deal would help Hyundai cement its leading position in India.
Hyundai said India’s luxury commercial vehicle market is expected to grow fast thanks to rapid economic development and rising demand for such transportation.
The company now has commercial vehicle CKD plants in China, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran.
Separately, Hyundai said it would sell a revamped version of its Elantra compact car in China under a Chinese-language brand name from next month.
The new name combines two characters that produce the sound “weidong,” which means enjoyment and dynamism in driving.
Hyundai officials said the revamped Elantra, which is available with either a 1.6-litre or a 1.8-litre engine, will target young urban customers.
Hyundai with its affiliate Kia Motors comprises the world’s sixth largest auto group and controls more than 70% of the domestic auto market.