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Hyundai Further Expands Presence in ASEAN, Setting Up Plant in Thailand

In December 2022, it was revealed that Hyundai Mobility (Thailand) was established in Thailand as a subsidiary of the South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor. For the past few years, Hyundai Motor has been pushing hard to capture the ASEAN market, which is the stronghold of Japanese OEMs. Following Vietnam and Indonesia, Thailand is the third country in ASEAN in which a manufacturing and sales subsidiary of Hyundai Motor has been established.

Until now, Hyundai Motor (Thailand), a joint venture with Japan's Sojitz and local auto parts supplier AAPICO Hitech, has managed sales and aftersales as a distributor. Hyundai Motor has not managed local operations directly. Currently, Hyundai Motor (Thailand) is focusing on selling the Indonesian-made Creta SUV, and is considering introducing the IONIQ 5 battery electric compact crossover SUV. Hyundai’s market share in the first 10 months of 2022 was 0.5% in Thailand, placing it in 12th place.

Hyundai Mobility (Thailand), established in September 2022, is capitalized at 70 million THB and will officially start operations in April 2023, according to local reports. In addition to negotiating the transfer of employees from Hyundai Motor (Thailand), the company is about to start negotiations with Thailand’s Board of Investment on investment incentives. The company has indicated a policy to embark on BEV assembly in the future, and is expected to apply for the Thai government's BEV sales subsidy scheme. Hyundai Mobility (Thailand) expects to recreate Hyundai Motor’s success in Vietnam, where the company has already secured a large presence in sales, by lowering sales prices through local assembly, expanding the number of models made in Hyundai Motor’s Indonesian factory that started operations in 2022, and promoting marketing strategies.

In September 2016, Hyundai Motor established an assembly company in Vietnam as a joint venture with Vietnam’s Thanh Cong Group. Since then, sales of mainly locally assembled vehicles have increased, and for the four years from 2018 to 2021, Hyundai has maintained the top market share, ahead of Toyota, which had been the top until then. Although Hyundai’s market share dropped in the first half of 2022, ranked third after Toyota and Kia, it has rapidly secured its presence in Vietnam through local assembly. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, Hyundai Motor launched a wholly-owned plant in the beginning of 2022. From 2017 to 2021, Hyundai’s sales share remained at a maximum of 0.4%, but following the start of local assembly Hyundai’s market share climbed up to 3.3% in the first 10 months of 2022. Although Hyundai is still behind top Japanese brands such as Toyota, Daihatsu and Honda, it has moved up to 8th place.

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