By Choi Kyong-ae
ULSAN, South Korea, Aug. 28 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Mobis Co., South Korea's biggest auto parts maker, said Wednesday it will invest 300 billion won (US$247 million) to build an electric vehicle parts plant in the country by early 2021.
Hyundai Mobis plans to build its second local plant capable of producing all-electric car components that can be assembled into 100,000 EVs a year in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, with its operations expected in the first half of 2021, the company said in a statement.
"The company will continue to invest in next-generation vehicle technologies and related manufacturing facilities to preemptively respond to rising demand for autonomous and electrified vehicles despite growing uncertainties in business environments," the statement said.
Hyundai Mobis broke ground for the plant Wednesday. President Moon Jae-in, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo and Hyundai Mobis CEO Park Chung-kook attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Ulsan.
To secure competitiveness in the burgeoning future vehicle markets, Hyundai Mobis plans to spend a total of 4 trillion won, including the latest investment, for the next three years not only to build or expand related facilities but to take over foreign rivals with advanced future car technologies, a company spokesman said.
Hyundai Mobis currently operates one environment-friendly car parts plant in Chungju, 150 km south of Seoul. The Chungju facility has a capacity of producing parts that can be assembled into 400,000 eco-friendly vehicles per year, such as hydrogen fuel-cell electric, all-electric and other less-emitting cars, he said.
The company expects to achieve a record sales figure this year on higher demand for electrified car parts. It posted 1.8 trillion won in sales from EV parts in 2018, sharply up from 1 trillion won in 2017.
Market research firm IHS Markit forecast the global eco-friendly car market will soar to 20 million in 2025 from the current 6 million and pure electric cars will account for half of the market.
Eco-friendly cars include gasoline hybrid, plug-in hybrid, all-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric models. Hyundai Motor sells the Nexo hydrogen-powered car in global markets.
Ulsan is a port city, home to Hyundai Motor Co.'s main car assembly plants. Hyundai Mobis supplies nearly all the auto parts for Hyundai Motor vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines from its plants at home and abroad.
Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Motor are key affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group, the country's second-biggest conglomerate by assets after Samsung Group.
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