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HYUNDAI delays hybrids

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SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co., citing currency problems, has delayed introduction of hybrid cars until 2009 at the earliest.

The automaker had planned to start selling a hybrid model in Korea this year and in the United States two or three years later.

"It's a loss-making proposition," says Hyundai spokesman Oles Gadacz. "Given that the currency is hammering us, it would squeeze the bottom line.

"There is a good case for the hybrids technically. But our marketing and, especially, our finance people are giving it the red light."

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