Hyundai Motor to begin selling heavy-duty trucks in China this year

BEIJING, March 13 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top carmaker, said Thursday it will start producing and selling heavy-duty trucks in China this year as it seeks further inroads in the world's biggest auto market.

Production of the Trago luxury cargo and dump trucks will begin as early as June at a new commercial vehicle plant in the Chinese city of Ziyuan, Sichuan province, a company official said.

Hyundai and its local partner, China's Sichuan Nanjun Automobile Co., launched a joint commercial vehicle venture in mid-2012 and have been building the new plant since early last year.

The new plant has an annual production capacity of 160,000 units, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Sales of commercial vehicles in China are expected to reach 4.2 million units this year," the official said.

The Chinese government's policy of urbanization and its acceleration of development in central and western China are forecast to drive up sales of commercial vehicles here, the official said.

The new plant in Ziyang has already started rolling out the County mini buses, which compete directly against Toyota Motor's Coaster, also produced in Sichuan.

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