Aksam – South Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai is considering adding a new vehicle model to its production line in Turkey. The Hyundai Assan plant in Izmit, Kocaeli in northwestern Turkey, established in 1997 as a joint venture with the Turkish Kibar Group, is currently manufacturing the light segment vehicles, i10 and i20, mainly to supply the European market.
Speaking to the Turkish press at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Alan Rusforth, Senior Vice President and COO Hyundai Motor Europe, said that the Intrado concept represented their intention to take a crossover vehicle to the market. “We are working on a small SUV/crossover-type vehicle” Rushforth said, adding that the plant to manufacture the new model was yet to be determined.
Hyundai Assan Chairman, Ali Kibar said that the third vehicle to be manufactured at Izmit plant was likely to be a SUV to be built on existing platforms. “The capacity of the Izmit plant could reach 300,000 units per year with the addition of a new model” Kibar noted. The plant can roll out 210,000 vehicles per year at its current capacity.
Hyundai has invested USD 600 million in its Turkish plant over the last two years to manufacture the i10 hatchback which entered production last September. The Izmit plant is vital to Hyundai’s plans to meet the increasing demand for light segment vehicles in Europe.