Hyundai will launch a European sales, marketing and distribution subsidiary early next year.
Bert Kreber, who ran Hyundai's independent distributor in the Netherlands for 18 years until 1998, will lead the new company's daily operations with Y.H. Kim, president of Hyundai Motor Europe.
The company will be called Hyundai Motor Europe and be based in Frankfurt.
Kreber moves from the Dutch distributor's holding company, Greenib.
Hyundai Motor Europe's launch coincides with a rapid acceleration of the Korean brand's European activities.
Hyundai is launching a compact minivan and a diesel engine range in Europe.
It also is studying plans to build a supermini at the NedCar plant in the Netherlands that makes Mitsubishis and Volvos.
DaimlerChrysler agreed in June to form a strategic alliance with Hyundai. DaimlerChrysler also bought a 10 percent stake in Hyundai.
Hyundai Motor Europe will start operating in early 2001. Hyundai also has a European product development and design center in Frankfurt.
'Starting next year, we will gradually settle down with our own European marketing, sales and public relations departments,' Kreber said.
'Europe is important since it will account for one-third of our total export of 900,000 vehicles this year.'
Kreber said Hyundai is working to establish a new brand identity.
'When we entered Europe two decades ago, we sold on price only,' he said. 'That gradually changed to value-for-money models. We are working to become `the alternative with personal character at affordable prices.' '