Sabah – South Korean car maker Hyundai’s manufacturing plant in Turkey is expected to start production of the new generation i20 in the last quarter of 2014. The company has significantly expanded the plant during the last two years by investing USD 600 million to add the i10 model to the assembly line, elevating the site to a strategic production base for the European market that produces the company’s high-on-demand i10 and i20 models.
“Turkey plays a vital role in Hyundai’s plans for the European market. Turkish-made vehicles will constitute 40 percent of Hyundai’s total sales in Europe next year”, Hyundai Assan Director General, Onder Goker, said about the company’s 2014 targets. “Hyundai aims to sell 500,000 vehicles in Europe in 2014. The Izmit plant will supply 180,000 of these vehicles”, he added.
Established as a joint venture with the Turkish Kibar Group in 1997, the Hyundai Assan plant in Izmit is Hyundai’s longest-operating overseas manufacturing facility and has received EUR 1 billion of investments to date. The plant’s production capacity was upgraded to 200,000 units per annum as part of Hyundai’s expansion plans to better compete in the European market where there is an increasing demand for light segment vehicles.
The Izmit plant will ship i10 and i20 models to more than 30 countries in 2014.
Home to global automakers Ford, Fiat, Toyota, Honda, Renault as well as Hyundai, Turkey’s automotive industry is forecast to manufacture 1.1 million vehicles in 2013. The highly-developed industry exported USD 19 billion worth of vehicles and parts last year.