Kia Finance will make “major investments” in China in the next few months, said the automaker on Monday, as the world heads to the world-leading auto-industry expo to compete for global marketshare.
Kia will be among the biggest players at the event, the first-ever to feature a production-based assembly line, with the company planning to build an assembly line in Shenzhen to assemble the next-generation Juke, which is expected to begin production in early 2018.
“Our plans to create a manufacturing capacity for our brand will help us to accelerate our plans to build a new line-up of models that are fully designed and manufactured in China,” said the Hyundai finance chief, who did not give a date for the new line.
The automaker is also planning to increase its investments in the Chinese market with an upcoming joint venture with Chinese auto giant BYD, which will create a joint-venture arm of its own in the country.
Kiesa Finance is one of the most significant Japanese auto-financing entities in the world, accounting for more than a third of its business.
The group has recently emerged as a leader in China, where it is building a new plant that will create the next generation Juke.
It also has a presence in North America and is investing heavily in Europe, and is now planning to expand into Asia.
China has become a leading automotive market with a growing demand for cars, trucks and SUVs, with more than half of all vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2018 being imported.
In March, China signed a deal with Hyundai to make a $US10 billion ($14 billion) deal to buy back the factory, which the company says is a first in history.
It will also open a new joint venture arm in Shenzen, where Hyundai plans to invest up to US$1 billion ($1.3 billion) in its manufacturing and supply chain.