Dünya - South Korean car maker Hyundai is nearing the finalization of its extensive facility upgrade that will increase the company’s production capacity in Turkey to 200,000 vehicles per year . The upgrade operations in the facility, first announced in May 2012, to accommodate the i10 model are nearly over, making a late September launch date likely.
Hyundai Assan, established as a joint venture with Turkish Kibar Group, currently manufactures another compact car, i20 Troy, mainly for export markets at a rate of 120,000 vehicles per year.
“This year will be a turning point for the Hyundai Assan as we are almost ready to increase the production capacity to 200,000 vehicles. The cost to realize this upgrade exceeds Hyundai’s investment total in the country to date. In return, Hyundai’s exports from Turkey will increase significantly, creating thousands of new jobs in the process.”, Hyundai Assan President and CEO Won-Shin Chang said in a written statement released about the company’s plans.
According to earlier reports, the total investment to add the i10 to the plant in Izmit, Kocaeli in northwestern Turkey will reach USD 600 million. In addition to Hyundai, four other South Korean spare producers have also invested in Turkey to supply parts to the factory. Approximately 2,800 new jobs will be created as part of the upgrade program by the time the first new i10 rolls out.
The investment also turns Hyundai’s Turkish plant into a production hub for the company’s light segment vehicle models, high in demand both in the domestic and international markets. Hyundai ships most of its production to a 30-country market, consisting mainly of European customers.
Producing cars for the domestic and foreign markets since 1997, Hyundai plant in Izmit is the first overseas production facility of the South Korean company. Turkey’s highly developed industry, availability of skilled labor, strategic location and investment incentives have turned the country into a manufacturing hub for global several global automakers such as Ford, Fiat, Toyota, Honda and Renault.