HONG KONG -- South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. has introduced its first localized car model at an international motor show in China, vying to grab a larger share of the world’s largest automobile market, company officials said Tuesday.
Hyundai Motor said earlier it would develop a new brand exclusively for China in a bid to provide a more tailored product for Chinese consumers.
The new concept car is called the “Shouwang”, meaning being “of high birth” in the ancient Chinese language. It was showcased at the ninth annual Guangzhou International Motor Show that kicked off on Nov. 22 for a seven-day run in the southern Chinese city.
With its design based on Hyundai Motor’s popular Elantra compact car, the Shouwang will be developed into an electric car, said a top official at Beijing Automotive Co., a 50-50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Co.
“The Shouwang is expected to become the first mass-produced electric vehicle,” said Li Feng, executive vice general manager for Beijing Automotive.
Beijing Hyundai Motor was established in 2002 to manufacture Hyundai brand automobiles for the Chinese market.
The joint venture started building its third factory in China last November, and the facility is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
Some market watchers earlier predicted the localized brand would be produced at the new factory, but Hyundai Motor said it has yet to decide.
The South Korean automaker earlier said 363,473 units of its vehicles were sold in China in the January-June period, compared with 328,692 units a year earlier. The figure marks 50.5 percent of its full-year goal of 720,000 units.
Hyundai officials estimated that the automaker grabbed a 6.3 percent share of the Chinese market in the first half, making it the fourth-largest automobile seller in China.