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Business

Hyundai, Kia expect bright new sales year

South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia have forecast higher sales throughout 2017. The car-making group said new factories and the release of new models would help it shift more units.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia on Monday forecast sales of 8.25 million vehicles this year amid hopes that new production facilities and models would secure new customers in emerging markets.

The world's fifth-largest auto-making group said that projected sales for 2017 marked an increase from the previous year's target of 8.13 million units.

Hyundai has seen profits falling for years amid slowing demand in its key China market and a strong national currency that has hurt its competitiveness oversees.

In 2016, the group missed its annual sales target for a second year, also due to major strikes by South Korean workers which had hit production.

Greener production?

In October of last year, Hyundai Motor announced a sharp drop in profits for a third quarter that was marred by lengthy industrial action. Tens of thousands of workers at the firm's plants in South Korea had staged full or partial strikes for several weeks demanding higher wages.

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But now, Hyundai wants to turn things around with a new factory to open in Chongqing, China, and a range of new models to be released in the course of the year.

"We should strengthen production networks among 35 plants in 10 countries," Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-Koo said in a statement. "We will also strengthen product lineup in luxury and environmentally friendly cars and introduce more than 10 new vehicles this year."

hg/nz (AFP, dpa)

 

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