Hyundai Motor expects China sales to top 1 mln this year

BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top carmaker, said Sunday that annual sales of its vehicles in China will likely reach 1 million units for the first time this year, despite an economic slowdown in the world's largest auto market.

Hyundai began its Chinese sales campaign in 2002 by establishing a joint venture with local partner Beijing Automotive. In the first nine months of the year, Hyundai saw its sales in China jump 28 percent from a year earlier to 760,916 units.

"In 11 years since entering the Chinese market, Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. anticipated that its annual vehicle sales would reach 1 million units this year, with cumulative Chinese sales exceeding 5 million units," a Hyundai official in Beijing said.

Next month, Hyundai will begin selling a new sedan exclusively made for Chinese customers.

Prices of the Mistra sedan, which was unveiled in April at an auto show in Shanghai, will range from 150,000 yuan (US$24,619) to 190,000 yuan. The new model will be offered with either a 1.8-liter or a 2-liter gasoline engine, according to the official.

As part of its sales campaigns in China, Hyundai sponsored a marathon event in Beijing on Sunday, the company said in a statement.

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