Hyundai Considers Third India Car Plant After Modi’s Seoul Visit

Hyundai Motor Co. said it is considering building a third auto plant in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited South Korea to pitch for foreign investment as part of his push to encourage local production.

Chairman Chung Mong Koo is reviewing adding a new plant after a meeting with Modi in Seoul on Tuesday, the company said in an e-mail. Hyundai declined to give reasons for considering the expansion and said details, including capacity and timing, have not yet been decided.

Hyundai is considering adding capacity in India at a time when Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. is building a new factory, Ford Motor Co. in March opened a new assembly and engine plant and Honda Motor Co. is expanding one of its plants. The South Korean carmaker said it plans to introduce new models, including a sport utility vehicle, and boost output at its two existing plants this year.

“While the Chennai plant is a symbol of Korea-India’s economic cooperation, I hope to further expand it in areas such as construction and railway,” Chung said in his meeting with Modi, according to Hyundai, which didn’t provide details.

Hyundai is targeting to sell 465,000 vehicles in India this year, up 13 percent from a year earlier, the company said.

Modi’s administration has vowed to make it easier to do business by cutting red tape and simplifying taxes since coming into power about a year ago. He started a “Make in India” campaign to boost manufacturing to 25 percent of the gross domestic product by 2022 from 18 percent now.

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