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Hyundai to manufacture electric cars in India for export

South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. plans to test compact smart electric vehicles in India and to eventually manufacture them in the country before exporting them overseas, The Economic Times (India) reported Sept. 8, citing an interview with Hyundai Motor Vice-Chairman Chung Euisun.

Chung, speaking on the sidelines of the first Global Automotive Summit organized by India's National Institution for Transforming India, told the newspaper that the South Asian country is a compact car market that "can be given regional responsibility for exports."

The report said Chung hinted at launching three smart and economic electric cars for the Indian market.

To support the plan, Hyundai is considering expanding its Sriperumbudur plant near Chennai, which already operates at more than 95% capacity, according to the report.

The company has already diverted certain exports to production bases to create more room for local supplies, the report added.

The Hindu reported in March that Hyundai Motor India Ltd. Managing Director Y.K. Koo disclosed the company's plans to reach its 1 million mark in car production in India by 2020.

Last month, The Times of India reported that Hyundai unit Kia Motors Corp. is slated to launch its first vehicle for sale in India in 2019.