April 16, 2021 13:13
Hyundai will set up a future car research center in Shanghai in a bid to boost flagging sales in the world's largest market.
Hyundai and affiliate Kia made the announcement in an online press conference on Thursday. The automotive group wants to bolster research and development in China as well as increasing its lineup of electric cars and hydrogen vehicles there.
The center will open in the second half of this year. Hyundai already has a technology R&D center in Yantai focusing on combustion-engine cars.
At the same time Korea's largest automaker will put its energy into expanding its presence in the Chinese green car market. Hyundai plans to unveil the EV version of its premium Genesis G80 sedan at the Auto Shanghai that opens next Monday and releasing its first all-electric hatchback, the Ioniq 5, there next year. Kia will also launch its first electric car, the EV6, in the world's most populous country.
Hyundai will also build a 207,000 sq.m hydrogen fuel cell plant in Guangzhou next year, while rolling out the Nexo hydrogen car in China later this year.
Hyundai and Kia combined ranked third in terms of sales in China in 2016 but have since fallen among the also-rans. Last year, their sales plunged 27 percent to 660,000 cars and their rank dropped to ninth.
But the Chinese market is too big and juicy for Hyundai to abandon. This year alone demand is expected to soar to a record 27 million cars.
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