FIRST FOR HYUNDAI IN SA: Hyundai’s factory in Benoni, already producing medium-sized commercial models since July 2014, will begin assembling pick-up trucks by 2015. Image: AFP/ Eduard Genserek
CAPE TOWN - South Korean automaker Hyundai has started production at its first assembly factory in South Africa, initially building medium-sized commercial trucks, reports the automaker.
Hyundai SA's general manager of corporate communications, Deon Sonnekus, said its factory in Benoni, Gauteng has been assembling trucks since July 2014, ahead of a formal launch in September 2014.
Sonnekus said: "This is the first time that Hyundai has set up an assembly plant in South Africa." He adds that the automaker expects to also assemble pick-up trucks in 2015.
SA VEHICLE INDUSTRY STUNTED
South Africa is the continent's leading automotive manufacturer and aims to build 1.2 million vehicles by 2020.
However, labour strikes and slowing economic growth in recent months have curbed output at the local factories of some of the world's top automakers including Ford, Toyota and BMW.