SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor has decided to produce Beijing Automotive Group Co’s EV brand ARCFOX cars at its plant in Beijing in a bid for a breakthrough in a major market where it has been struggling to make a foothold, a news report said on Wednesday.
The production, if it materializes, would be the first instance of Hyundai’s foray into manufacturing an outside brand on contract, the Korea Economic Daily reported citing automotive industry and local Chinese sources.
The plan is for Beijing Hyundai Motor, a joint venture of Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC), to produce the ARCFOX vehicles, and the companies are discussing the details, the report cited the sources as saying.
Beijing Hyundai Motor will likely oversee the design, production and quality control and use its plant in Beijing, the report said.
When asked to comment on the report, Hyundai Motor said it was “currently reviewing various measures for EV production, but nothing has been decided,” in a statement to Reuters.
BAIC was not immediately available for comment outside normal business hours.
The report comes amid a push by the world’s No. 3 automaker by sales together with its affiliate Kia to restructure its China business to focus on profitability.
Hyundai, which had five plants in China at its peak, sold one in 2021. It plans eventually to run just two, optimising production for export to emerging markets.
The decision to produce ARCFOX vehicles is “to put together a bridgehead in the renewed push into the Chinese market by setting up a EV production line,” the report cited a local Chinese source as saying.
(Reporting by Jack Kim and Heekyong Yang, Editing by William Maclean)