South Korean giant Hyundai to produce two new models in Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

South Korean automotive giant Hyundai is preparing a new investment in addition to its current production network in Turkey. The car manufacturer is getting ready to commission the Hyundai Assan factory located in the northwestern city of İzmit at full capacity by producing a new sedan and SUV model in Turkey.

In line with the plan, a new sedan vehicle will be produced as of 2021, based on Hyundai's i20 model. The vehicle, which will be developed with a high locality ratio taking into account the conditions of the country, will be exported, in addition to domestic sales. The new i10 will be produced at the factory in late 2019, followed by the new i20 Hatchback in September 2020 and the new SUV in 2021.

The Hyundai Assan factory will start to operate at full capacity with the new sedan product, which will only be produced in Turkey and possibly be given a Turkish name.

Speaking at the launch of the diesel-automatic version of Hyundai's new Tucson model in Antalya, Hyundai Assan Chairman Ali Kibar said that they are turning towards further exports because of the conjuncture. Within this framework, Hyundai's exports reached 90 percent. With the new investment, the locality rate will increase by 5 percent.

Commenting on the new investment, Kibar said in addition to the projects previously planned and the new products in the SUV-B segment, they also included the production schedule of the sedan model as part of their program, adding a positive approach also came from the top management in Korea. "The new models we will produce also seem to have a market share from the bottom of the C segment," he said, stressing that the new sedan project will be on the i20 platform.

"In short, it will be a strong family. There will be plenty of variety from HB to sedan and to SUV version," he continued. "Along with the new family, our export markets will also be diversified. Other geographies will be added to our export plans, while it will mainly concentrate on Europe. Production will commence in six-month and nine-month periods from the end of 2020."

With regards to the new large car production, Kibar suggested that sales may also increase if there is a tax system in the investment programs to keep the domestic producers' products on the forefront, adding that some new tariffs for electric and hybrid vehicles can also have a positive impact on sales. "If our country also has a domestic market of 20-25,000 units per year in the D segment or upper vehicles, a platform investment of at least 100,000 units may be introduced for at least three brands. Even in this crisis conditions, the imports are still around 60 percent. The upper segment is fully imported," Kibar noted.

"We can think of our Sonata model if there is support like a purchase guarantee. Of course, I will discuss it with the administrators, if circumstances arise. It may be well suited for use by senior authorities, such as public and local governments. This can also be a means of saving for our country," he said, inviting brands that import from Germany to come here to produce and provide a guarantee if necessary. "All our domestic producers can already produce, and non-domestic producers are also welcomed. For example, if I am able to sell in such a volume, I would also like to initiate an additional platform for exports," he added.

Meanwhile, Hyundai's popular model in the C-SUV segment, Tucson, has been put on sale in Turkey with its new 1.6-liter diesel engine and a new interior with technological enhancements. Tucson's 1.6-liter diesel version also has a 4x4 option. The new Tucson is sold at prices starting from TL 167,000 ($25,900), while the diesel automatic version with the highest equipment has a price tag of TL 259,700.

"Tucson is

one of Hyundai's best-selling models in Turkey, in line with the fast-growing SUV segment," Hyundai Assan President and CEO Ickkyun Oh, who started his duties in Turkey on August 1, said.

Hyundai Assan General Manager Önder Göker, on the other hand, said: "We aim to sell 6,000 units this year from our Tucson model, and we cannot wait for this model to continue its success story."

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