BeijingMotor Co. Ltd. inaugurates its second plant in Beijing April 8, with the goal of producing 100,000 Chinese versions of the Elantra, called the Yuedong, which will help boost sales 65% this year to a total 380,000 for a 6.1% market share.
The new car will be showcased at the Beijing International Motor Show April 22-28.
“The new $790 million plant increases our capacity in China by 200,000 vehicles annually and will ramp up to 300,000 units by 2010,” aspokesman says. “This doubles our capacity and gives us the means to hit our 2010 sales target of 600,000 units and 8% market share.”
The Korean version of the Elantra continues in production at the original BHMC plant, despite suffering a dramatic 29% sales slump in 2007 with only 120,333 units sold, compared with 169,716 in 2006. The Elantra has sold in China relatively unchanged since its debut there in 2003.
BHMC’s overall sales in 2007 were down 20% to 231,137 units.
The Yuedong is targeting buyers in the 25-30 age group, whose income level is about $21,000 annually. Prices range between 99,800 RMB ($14,254) and 129,800 RMB ($18,539), “which is less than theCorolla,” the spokesman says.
The high-end model will feature all-leather seating, sunroofs, air conditioning and other upscale appointments. Engine choices include 1.6L and 1.8L.
“The displacement is the same as the engines used on the old Elantra, but the performance has been significantly improved with higher power and increased fuel economy,” the spokesman says. “It is a different engine.”
The Yuedong is competing in the volatile compact-car market against the Corolla,Jetta, Buick Excelle and a host of homegrown Chinese entries.
To help reach its sales targets, BHMC this year will increase the number of dealers in China from 357 to 470.
BHMC is a 50/50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. A new technical center and design studio located on the plant property also are in operation.