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Hyundai Motor Plans 40% Expansion in China Production by 2015

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest automaker, plans to increase production in China by 40 percent in three years and add higher-end models as it seeks to gain market share in the world’s largest market.

Beijing Hyundai Motor Co., its passenger-car venture with Beijing Automotive Group Co., will boost production to 1.4 million units by 2015 and double the ratio of mid- to high-end products to more than 50 percent during the period, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Hyundai is among foreign automakers announcing expansion plans in China as they target the world’s largest pool of first-time buyers. Passenger-vehicle sales in the nation will expand by an average 8 percent a year to reach 22 million units in 2020, driven by demand for sport-utility vehicles and rising incomes in smaller cities, according to McKinsey & Co.

The maker of the Elantra sedan and Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle increased China sales 11 percent to 676,746 units in the first 10 months of this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, putting it on pace to exceed the 739,800 units sold in 2011.

The automaker, which currently operates three factories in the country with a total capacity of 1 million units, produced its 4-millionth car yesterday, it said in the statement.

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