South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. plans to begin kit assembly in Thailand later this year, as it looks to penetrate a market that is down 14.3% from year-ago levels.

Assembly will start with the Sonata sedan, with knocked-down kits shipped from Korea to a Thai-Japanese joint venture operation, Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. Ltd., owned 30% by Shojitz Corp. of Japan and 70% by Thai firm Thonburi Group. Hyundai does not hold equity in the JV.

Thonburi has capacity for 2,000 of the cars, Hyundai says.

The local assembly will mark a return to Thailand for Hyundai, which last sold cars there in 1998.