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By Mark Kleis

It’s no secret that China’s auto market is emerging and is expected to continue to further establish itself as the world’s largest automotive market – that includes heavy equipment and truck as well.

Hyundai realizes that global growth into the future will require a stronghold in China, so the automaker has announced a $400 million joint venture with Baotou Bei Ben Heavy-Duty Truck Co., according to the China Post.

Currently, Baotou Bei Ben is a relatively small to medium-sized player, with an annual production capacity of just 40,000 vehicles. But Baotou Bei Ben has already announced that in just a few short years, by 2014, the heavy-duty truck producer plans to up production substantially to 100,000 trucks in China alone. Hyundai hopes to play a part in the planned expansion, especially as China is poised to begin and continue work on several massive infrastructure projects nationwide.

“Entering China’s commercial vehicle market is essential for Hyundai to grow into a comprehensive vehicle manufacturer in the world’s largest auto market,” said Choi Han Young, vice chairman Hyundai commercial vehicle division. Hyundai has previously stated that it hoped to sell 200,000 commercial vehicles annually by 2013 (worldwide), and Choi believes that the deal with Baotou Bei Ben will play a crucial role in making that a possibility.

In the case of Baotou Bei Ben, Hyundai hopes the third time is the charm, as this marks the third time the Korean automaker has attempted to form a partnership with a commercial vehicle producer in China, dating back to failed agreements in 2004 and 2005 with two other Chinese automakers.



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