Hyundai likely to shift i20 manufacturing to Turkey plant

AA – The world's fourth largest carmaker, Hyundai, is planning to shift its i20 manufacturing to one of its European plants, while Turkey is most likely to become the European manufacturing base of the i20 model, said the company's top executive in Turkey on Wednesday. Kwang-Heum Um, CEO of Hyundai Assan, the company's Turkey unit, said Hyundai will announce its final decision very soon. Kwang-Heum Um stressed that he hopes to give good news to the Turkish plant in a couple of weeks' time. The latest Hyundai plant is located in the Czech Republic and currently produces Hyundai's i30 hatchback and wagon models for the European market. However, that is not the only possible choice of Hyundai, as the automaker also has a plant in Turkey, where the Hyundai Accent is being built. Kwang-Heum Um said a planned additional investment of around USD 75 million will be required for the plant in Turkey, if it is chosen to manufacture the i20 model. Kwang-Heum Um also stressed the fact that Hyundai leads the Turkish auto market, according to figures in the first seven months of 2009, and has a target to sell over 50,000 cars in Turkey. Hyundai's Turkey plant has manufactured 500,000 cars since 1996, he added.