Hyundai Motor unveils China-exclusive Elantra
By Kim Tae-jong
Beijing ― Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor unveiled a version of the Elantra exclusively for the Chinese market on Monday. The car, marketed as the Avante in Korea and whose Chinese name is Langdong, was shown at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition at the China International Exhibition Center.
The automaker said it will keep introducing various models that are especially customized for Chinese motorists to increase their market share in the world’s largest auto market.
“We will introduce our models, customized for Chinese people,” John Krsterski, design manager at Hyundai Motor, said.
He said confidently that the new model will be successful in China as it has been in the United States and Europe.
It is based on Hyundai Motor’s best-selling and multi-award winning Elantra that has captured the hearts of customers worldwide.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary of a joint venture in China, Hyundai Motor also took its all-new third-generation Santa Fe to the auto show.
Hyundai is aiming to boost its mid- to large-sized vehicle sales in China through the vehicles and raise its brand image.
“A decade ago, Hyundai was known for making only small cars. Today, our Equus and Genesis luxury cars compete with the best vehicles that Europe can make,” Kim Seung-tack, executive vice president & COO of Hyundai Motor’s Global Business Division, said. “Ten years ago, we were a follower in the auto industry. Today, we are a leader and ready for the future.”
The Langdong, which will be produced at Hyundai’s new, third plant in Beijing in the second half of this year, is expected to accelerate the upward momentum for Hyundai in the world’s largest auto market. Beijing Hyundai Motor, a joint venture in China, is currently building the third facility, which will raise its maximum production capacity to one million vehicles.
Along with Hyundai Motor, a number of other global automakers have unveiled new models designed for Chinese buyers at this week’s auto show.
When the first Beijing exhibition was held 22 years ago, only 216 vehicles were on display, which included motorcycles.
But the 12th auto show will see a record-high 1,125 vehicles from Chinese and global carmakers. The biennial event will last until May 2, expected to attract almost a million visitors.
The increasing size and importance of the exhibition indicates the explosive growth of car sales in China over the past two decades as the country has risen to become the No 1 auto market in the world, event organizers said.