We'll Soon Be 90 Percent European, Hyundai Says

No, a European car manufacturer hasn’t bought Hyundai. What the Korean automaker is saying is that 90 percent of the vehicles it sells in Europe will soon be manufactured on the continent as well. Hyundai will introduce an all-new i10 city car towards the end of this year and will transfer production of Europe-bound versions of its smallest model from India to Turkey. Consequently, the only Hyundai cars sold in Europe that won’t be built in Europe will be models destined for the UK and Ireland, which will continue to be made in India alongside those for other right-hand-drive markets. The arrival of the new i10 will mean that 90 percent of the cars Hyundai sells in the continent of Europe, and 70 percent of those sold in the European Union will be made west of the Bosporus. The carmaker says only one Hyundai in every 10 sold in Europe is made in South Korea. Most of the cars Hyundai sells in the EU are built in the company’s Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic, close to sister company Kia’s Zilina plant across the border in Slovakia. The Nosovice facility produces transmissions for both brands while Zilina is responsible for engine production. The cars built in the two factories are based on shared platforms. Nosovice makes the Hyundai i30 range, ix35 crossover and ix20 mini-MPV and has a capacity of 300,000 cars a year, based on a five-day, triple-shift system. “We’re very proud that we’ve been able to keep the factory running at 100% when the market in Europe is so weak and unpredictable,” stated Hyundai’s European COO and senior vice-president, Allan Rushforth. “So far this year our volumes in Europe are down by about 5%, but our market share is slightly up.” By Dan Mihalascu