Seoul, South Korea – Hyundai Motor Company, which recorded enormous passenger car sales gains in China in 2009, has announced a joint venture in commercial vehicles in the country.

Hyundai created the venture with Baotou Bei Heavy-Duty Truck Company, a Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer. Under the agreement, each company will invest a total of US$400 million to establish a 50/50 joint venture in 2010 that will take over Baotou Bei Ben’s existing large truck business, which has a capacity of 40,000 units a year.

The venture will initially launch a refreshed Baotou Bei Ben model, and then launch a brand-new model by 2012 with input from Hyundai’s modern technology and equipment. The joint venture also enables Hyundai to bypass building a construction facility.

Hyundai will initially focus on heavy-duty trucks, with a sales target of 100,000 units in China by 2014. The company will gradually increase investment to expand into a full line of commercial vehicles.

“Entering China’s commercial vehicle market is essential in establishing Hyundai’s reputation as the most comprehensive car manufacturer in the world’s largest auto market,” said Han-Young Choi, Hyundai’s vice-chairman. “Our business in China will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our global sales target of 200,000 units in commercial vehicles by 2013.”

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