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(LEAD) Hyundai Motor to build largest driving center in S. Korea

Industry 15:18 June 17, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with comment by Hyundai's executive vice president in para 3)

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, on Wednesday unveiled a plan to build a driving center in the country by 2022.

Hyundai said the driving center featuring eight test courses in Taean, about 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, is designed to provide various and dynamic driving experiences to customers.

"By offering the best facilities and performance-driving surfaces, this will become the epicenter for expanding automobile culture in Korea," Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor, said in a comment provided by the company.

The largest driving center in South Korea, if completed, is to be located inside the 1.26-square-kilometer proving ground being built by Hankook Tire & Technology Co.

The move comes amid slowing sales of Hyundai cars due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Hyundai sold 217,510 vehicles in May, down from 358,567 units a year earlier, due to sharply reduced demand amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From January to May, sales fell 26 percent to 1,288,629 units from 1,748,911 in the same period a year ago.

This bird's eye graphic, provided by Hyundai Motor Co. on June 17, 2020, shows its driving center to be built in Taean, South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

entropy@yna.co.kr
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