Hyundai will introduce an all-new i10 towards the end of this year and at the same time transfer production of Europe-bound versions of its smallest model from India to Turkey.
Cars destined for the UK and Ireland will continue to be built in India alongside those for other right-hand-drive markets, however.
The arrival of the new i10 will mean that 90% of the cars Hyundai sells in Europe, and 70% of those sold in the EU, will be made west of the Bosphorus. Only one Hyundai in every 10 sold in Europe is made in Korea.
The bulk of the cars Hyundai sells in the EU is sourced from its Nosovice factory in the east of the Czech Republic, close to partner company Kia's Zilina plant across the border in Slovakia.
Although there is no exchange of models between the two, Nosovice produces transmissions for both brands while Zilina is responsible for engine production. The cars built in the two factories are based on shared platforms.
Nosovice manufactures the Hyundai i30 range, ix35 crossover and ix20 mini-MPV. The corresponding Kia models are the cee'd, Sportage and Venga. Both plants have a nominal capacity of 300,000 cars a year, based on a five-day, triple-shift system.
The i30 is Hyundai's leading performer in Europe; close behind is the ix35, due for a mid-term update in the autumn. The ix35 is the fastest-selling model Hyundai has introduced in Europe and this year will be the biggest-volume model to come out of Nosovice, accounting for 45% of total production against 41% for the i30 range.
Nosovice now supplies cars to 60 countries and 'destinations' - a term Hyundai uses to describe places such as the Canary Islands which are linked to European states but distant from them. Around 18% of the cars it makes go to non-EU countries. The plant is working flat out, and theoretically exceeded its capacity last year by turning out 303,000 cars.
"We are very proud that we've been able to keep the factory running at 100% when the market in Europe is so weak and unpredictable," says Hyundai's European chief operating officer and senior vice-president, Allan Rushforth. "So far this year our volumes in Europe are down by about 5%, but our market share is slightly up." ∎
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