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Hyundai Motor to launch i40cw at Geneva and A new Test Drive Strategy

Hyundai Motor is planning to launch at the Geneva Motor Show next year March the i40cw station wagon built for the European market and competing against such vehicles as the Opel Insignia Sports, the Ford Mondeo and the VW Passat.

The South Korean car maker released first sketches and details of the model, saying customers would now have 2 choices between petrol and a diesel unit. Fitted with start-stop technology, consumption is listed at around five liters per 100 kilometers.

Features include Bi-Xenon headlamps with curvature lighting and lane assist.

The sketch shows a flat windscreen with a roof sloping slightly to the rear. The upper window line forms a coupe-shaped silhouette while the front grille is in the typical Hyundai design.

On the other hand, with the result of the recent survey on how customers would be convinced in buying a car which “Test Drive” leads the survey that car fanatics would love to have a test drive first before deciding to buy the car.  Hyundai Motor Co. will soon introduce a test driving service that allows potential customers to test drive vehicles delivered to a place designated by the motorist from Jan. 3, 2010 around South Korea.

The service, which the company is operating on pilot basis until the end of the year, allows customers to pick any Hyundai vehicle for a test drive and have the vehicle delivered at a place and time set by the customer.

The vehicle can also be returned using a similar system with Hyundai employees picking up the car at a place and time chosen by the driver.

Until the end of the year, the service is available through 12 test driving centers in Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju and Daejeon. From Jan. 3, the company plans to expand the service to 30 centers across the country.

To use the service, visit the carmaker’s website at  or visit one of the designated test driving centers.


Hyundai Engineering is in the move to be the top 15th Engineering Firm in the World

Hyundai Engineering & Construction has won a $534 million US Dollar project to build an advance technology medical center in Doha Qatar. This is another Million Dollar project of Hyundai Engineering & Construction in the last quarter of 2010.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction signed a contract with Qatar’s Public Works Authority to construct the Hamad Medical City at the 2006 Doha Asian Games site, beating industry leaders from the USA and Italy.

Over the next 34 months, Hyundai E&C will renovate the site, which was used as an athlete’s village and offices for the Asian Games, into an advanced technology hospital which specializes in gynecology, surgery and rehabilitation, as well as a medical research center. This project could boast the medical tourism from different part of the Middle East to experience the advance technology in Doha.

This is another good chance for Hyundai Engineering & Construction to be the priority list for the future project of Qatar. Qatar is an important market which is expected to place orders for diverse large-scale construction projects as the country would be hosting for the 2022 World Cup.

“Through winning bids for the Heart of Doha project (in April) and Hamad Medical City, we have gained momentum to re-enter the Middle East market.”

The Hyundai Engineering & Construction, meanwhile, will continue to step up efforts to diversify its overseas markets and the range of its projects next year, aiming to become a top 15 engineering firm in the world.


Hyundai Motor Group - the new Preferred Bidder for Hyundai E&C Group

SEOUL: South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group will likely be named as new preferred bidder for the country's largest builder, the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Group (Hyundai E&C Group) a major shareholder of the builder said Wednesday, after rival Hyundai Group was pushed out of the race when it fails to submit the requirement.

Nine creditors with a combined 34.88 percent stake in Hyundai Engineering and Construction Group will vote at an unspecified date on whether to name Hyundai Motor preferred bidder, Ryu Jae-Han, head of state-run Korea Finance Corp, told Dow Jones Newswires.

On Monday creditors walked away from an initial deal to sell their stake to the Hyundai Group, saying it did not give them enough information about how it would finance the reported 5.51 trillion won (4.9 billion US Dollar) cost.

When asked whether Hyundai Motor, which lost the preliminary deal in November, would be chosen as preferred bidder this time, Ryu said he "can't deny" the possibility.

"I can't deny that the current atmosphere makes it seem that way, but that's something that the creditors need to vote on. We'll have to see how the process plays out," Dow Jones quoted Ryu as saying.

If the deal goes through Hyundai Motor would become the construction company's biggest shareholder.

The takeover battle is part of a family feud over the former Hyundai Empire, which was split into separate units after the death of its billionaire founder Chung Ju-Yung in 2001.

Hyundai Motor, headed by the founder's second son Chung Mong-Koo, was hived off almost a decade ago as a separate entity. With affiliate Kia Motors, it is now the world's fifth largest carmaker.

The construction firm came under creditor control in a debt-for-equity swap in 2001 amid lingering fallout from the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

The Hyundai Group -- which includes a shipping firm, a brokerage, a tour company that operates projects in North Korea and an elevator maker -- initially outbid Hyundai Motor for the construction firm.

The group's chairwoman Hyun Jeong-Eun is the founder Chung's daughter-in-law.

But creditors said Hyundai Group failed to submit detailed information about its financing of the acquisition, particularly a 1.2 trillion won loan obtained from French bank Natixis.



Hyundai Expected sales in USA for 2010 will reached up to 539,000 cars

Korea’s leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. has sold more than 500,000 vehicles this year in the USA.

It is the highest number of cars Hyundai has ever sold in a single year since tapping into the U.S. market in 1986, the company said, adding that it expects to sell 530,000 vehicles by end-year.

“Hyundai’s sales continue to climb as more consumers become aware of our excellent products, high quality, the industry’s best warranty, and improving dealership experience,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president at Hyundai Motor America.

A slew of new models, such as the all-new Tucson and Sonata, were also attributed for the increased market share, he said.

Hyundai’s Sonata sedan was the company’s most popular model in 2010, selling 183,295 units, up 50 percent from a year earlier, according to Hyundai.

Sales of the Tucson, a sport utility vehicle, reached 36,333 units, up 135 percent on-year, it said.

Hyundai said it plans to expand its vehicle lineup by including more luxury sedans and eco-friendly cars in order to keep up its strong performance in the U.S. market.

It will also launch the Equus and Sonata Hybrid cars in the U.S. next year, the company said.

Meanwhile, Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sales in China are expected to surpass a combined 1 million units this year.

Hyundai Motor said its January-November sales in China reached 637,686 units, a 23.5 percent increase from the same period last year.

Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp.  sold 301,358 vehicles in the same period, up 44.6 percent from a year earlier.

The combined number of the automobiles sold by Hyundai and Kia in China during the 11-month period totaled 939,044 units.

The two companies are the only Korean auto manufacturers that produce and sell within China.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Thursday, Korea held 7.54 percent of the Chinese auto market share during the January-November period, ranking fourth after China, Japan and the United States.

Hyundai and Kia have been aggressively pushing into China as the country has become the world’s largest automobile market.

The two companies sold more than 800,000 cars in China last year. They are seeking to sell more than 1.1 million vehicles there in 2011.

Auto sales in China exceeded 16 million units from January to November as demand in the world’s most populous market continues to grow, the association said.

The figure represents a 34.05 percent surge from the number of units sold during the same period last year.

The figure marks the second year that the number of vehicles sold in China has surpassed that of the United States, which logged

10.4 million in sales during the January-November period.

Last year, China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s largest automobile market. Auto sales in the U.S. totaled 10.4 million in 2009.

In November of this year, 1.697 million units were sold, up 26.86 percent from a year earlier.

The association said it expects the total number of cars sold to reach 18 million by the end of December.

Sales for the next year will likely be around 20 million units, according to an estimate by the industry group.

During the last 11 months, local Chinese manufacturers held 45.43 percent of the market share, selling 5.65 million vehicles, followed by Japanese manufacturers with 2.43 million, or 19.51 percent, and German firms with 1.80 million units, or 4.51 percent.

The U.S. and France sold 1.28 million units (10.33 percent) and 333,400 units (2.68 percent), respectively.

China’s auto exports soared 68.53 percent to 483,300 units during the same period from a year earlier. (Yonhap News)


Hyundai's Tau engine ranked to the top 10

Hyundai Motors Tau engine was named one of the world top 10 engines of 2011, making the list for the third consecutive year.

In 2008, the company’s 4.6-liter Tau engine became the first Hyundai-developed engine to make the list complied by the auto publication Ward’s Auto.

The engine included in this year’s list is the newly developed 5-liter, gasoline direct injection Tau engine that puts out 429 brake horsepower.

The new engine will be fitted in the Equus and Genesis sedans sold in the U.S. market.



Whistleblowers' leaked 72.5% ownership of Hyundai E&C in return of loan fund by Hyundai Group'

Korea Exchange Bank main creditors raise questions on the terms of investment by Tong Yang Securities for whistleblowers’ leaked 72.5%  ownership of Hyundai E&C in return of loan fund by Hyundai Group.

Hyundai Group is struggling for further pressure to answer issues by bank creditors related to the 1 Billion Dollars financing sources of its bid for Hyundai Engineering & Construction Group.

Lately, Hyundai Group were asked to submit detailed information on whether it had agreed to a put option on Hyundai Engineering & Construction  shares when Tong Yang Securities agreed to provide 800 billion won ($705.6 million) as a strategic investor in the takeover deal.

A put option gives the owner the right to sell a specified amount of shares at an agreed price and deadline. Critics say the “put option” could amount to a disguised high-interest loan by Tong Yang to Hyundai Group with Hyundai Engineering & Construction Group shares possibly serving as collateral, which would be in violation of the takeover terms set by creditors.

Lat December 16, 2010, the creditors demanded that Hyundai Group must submit more documents concerning its 1.2 trillion won loan from a French investment bank with a deadline of December 14, 2010 to submit the documents or face the risk of having its preferred bidder status for Hyundai Engineering & Construction revoked.

International Business analyst said “The history repeats itself” as the Hynix was mismanaged by the Hyundai Group and finally lost it in 2002, the Hyundai Engineering & Construction Follows and lost its full control during Asian Economic down-turns. “The Stability of Hyundai Group is unpredictable” to take charge for the company which was founded by the Late Ju yung Chung with Chung family’s highest sentimental value is unsafe at the hand of Jeong eun Hyun.  The late Chung’s son with good management plan would take care of it or lost it from the control of the Chung’s family forever like what had happened to the Hynix

"There was a request among the creditors to confirm whether there was a put option between Tong Yang Securities and Hyundai Merchant Marine [Hyundai Group’s main unit],” said an official from Korea Exchange Bank, the main creditor. "Hyundai Group should submit information if there were any put options included in the consortium contract with Tong Yang Securities, and if not, whether there are any such plans for the future."

Ryu Jae-han, president of the Korea Finance Corporation, one of Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s three main creditors, has been the main executive raising questions about the possibility of a put option.

Ryu has been the only creditor to publicly say he may seek the assistance of financial authorities to clarify the issue.

Hyundai Group has already denied that it agreed to put options with Tong Yang Securities.

"We don't know why the parties including the other bidder [Hyundai Motor Group] and even some of the creditors are trying to create an atmosphere for canceling the memorandum of understanding [on the sale of Hyundai E&C], which is in violation of the agreement," said a Hyundai official.

"We hope that the creditors will stop being pushed around and change their position so we can move forward with the deal under the original guidelines,” said the official, referring to pressure being applied by Hyundai Motor.



Hyundai Group Leaks a deal from Austria for 72.5% Hyundai E&C Ownership for $1.1 Billion USD Loan

Hyundai Group at risk of losing bid for Hyundai Engineering & Construction if it fails to obey


Creditors from Hyundai Engineering & Construction yesterday demanded that Hyundai Group should submit more documents about its controversial 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion USD) loan from French investment bank Natixis that helped finance its takeover of Korea’s largest builder.

Creditors said that a loan confirmation document submitted earlier by Hyundai Group was not sufficient to clear up doubts about the loan conditions. Hyundai Group bid 5.5 trillion won to acquire a 35 percent stake in Hyundai E&C.

Hyundai Group last week submitted a loan confirmation issued and notarized by Natixis that stated that the group had not pledged shares in Hyundai E&C or its group affiliates as collateral to gain the loan, which would have been in violation of the takeover terms.

But new questions have been raised on whether the person who signed the loan confirmations was not from Natixis but rather its affiliate NexGen Capital and Nexgen Reinsurance.

“We feel that the confirmation that Hyundai Group submitted is insufficient,” the creditors said. They said that Hyundai Group will have to submit additional documents by Dec. 14 or risk losing its status as preferred bidder for Hyundai E&C.

Hyundai said that there are no problems with those who signed the loan confirmation since they hold concurrent positions at Natixis.

NexGen Capital had previously provided financial assistance to Hyundai Group and the Ireland-based company currently holds 5 percent of Hyundai Merchant Marine’s shares. It has been at the center of attention since some believe the loan was backed by NexGen.

“Asking for the loan contract when we have proven everything through the confirmation is unheard of in the history of M&As and is a very irrational demand,” said Hyundai Group officials. Information was published in the local media yesterday that M+W Group, an affiliate of Austria’s Stumpf Group, had demanded acquiring 72.5 percent of Hyundai Engineering in return for providing a 1 trillion won investment as a strategic partner with Hyundai Group for the Hyundai E&C takeover. M+W Group later withdrew its offer as a strategic investor after Hyundai Group rejected the demand.

“We don’t know how the information was leaked, but this is true. But we could not accept this offer and the deal collapsed in the end,” said a Hyundai Group official. “We have no plans whatsoever to sell Hyundai Engineering.”

Hyundai Group is also under pressure by its creditors to sign a financial restructuring program, with the deadline expiring yesterday. Hyundai Group said it is willing to do so, but is asking for more time until the Hyundai E&C deal is completed.

Korea Exchange Bank, the main creditor for both Hyundai Group and Hyundai E&C, recently asked Hyundai Group to sign the financial restructuring plan but Hyundai said the demand was made at the last minute.

Hyundai Group said the timing is inconvenient since it is in the last stages of trying to complete the takeover of Hyundai E&C. “We must concentrate on the deal until it is completed.”


By Jung Seung-hyun []


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