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Hyundai mulls raising stake in Chinese trucks, buses JV

Hyundai Motor Co. is looking at raising its ownership in Sichuan Hyundai Motor Co., its 50-50 Chinese joint venture with Sichuan Nanjun Automotive Group Co. Ltd., Reuters reported Oct. 21, citing an emailed statement.

The South Korean carmaker reportedly plans to boost the joint venture's competitiveness amid changing market conditions in China.

Sichuan Hyundai Motor, which was established in August 2012, produces cargo trucks and buses. It has a registered capital of ¥1.9 billion and operates two production sites in the Chinese cities of Ziyang and Chengdu, according to the JV's website.

Reuters said Sichuan Hyundai Motor recorded sluggish sales, with only 2,500 vehicles sold from January to September.

The news outlet added that Hyundai's potential move mirrors that of other foreign carmakers including Volkswagen AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG after Beijing removed a cap on foreign ownership in the car industry in 2018.

Sought for comment, Hyundai said in an email to S&P Global Market Intelligence that together with its joint venture partner, it is looking into various ways to enhance long-term competitiveness of Sichuan Hyundai, but there are no concrete plans at this stage.

In October 2018, Germany's BMW indicated its plan to raise its ownership in its Chinese JV with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. to 75% from 50%. The plan gained regulatory approval in January. BMW's peer Daimler AG reportedly plans to raise its ownership in its joint venture with BAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. to 65% from 49%.

It was also reported in April that Volkswagen was eyeing a "big stake" in its Chinese electric vehicle JV partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp. Ltd., which does business as JAC Motors. However, JAC denied being in talks with Volkswagen about such a plan shortly after the report was published.

As of Oct. 21, US$1 was equivalent to ¥108.56.