SEOUL - DaimlerChrysler AG and Hyundai Motor Co. plan to launch a range of light commercial vehicles under a new brand name that will target established leaders such as the Ford Transit and Renault Master, according to a senior Hyundai executive.
Kim Dong Jin, one of three co-presidents of the Korean automaker, said the vehicle range will be announced this month or early next month. The brand likely will be an amalgamation of the DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai names, he said.
DaimlerChrysler agreed in June to buy a 10 percent stake in Hyundai Motor, and the two companies then formed a 50-50 joint venture in commercial vehicles.
'In five months we have accomplished a lot - particularly in terms of gaining an understanding of the culture of the two companies,' Kim said in an interview here.
'DaimlerChrysler is aware of the position Hyundai holds in the Korean and Asian markets in terms of marketing and price, while DaimlerChrysler can bring improved production techniques, cost efficiencies and quality to the equation.'
But Kim said Hyundai would not produce Mercedes-Benz vehicles at its Chonju commercial vehicle plant in Korea.
'What we will see is a new brand emerging that takes something from both the Hyundai and DaimlerChrysler names,' he said. 'We believe we can achieve sales of between 15,000 and 25,000 over the next few years in Europe with the right product at the right price.'