SEOUL -- South Korea's top automaker, Hyundai Motor Co., said on Friday it would spend an additional 300 billion won ($260.6 million) in the coming years to build 300,000 hybrid vehicles.
Hyundai Motor, which controls half of the home market and aims to become a global top five automaker by 2010, has so far spent 100 billion won to develop gasoline-electric cars.
"Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors would set up a production system to develop hybrid vehicles, a segment that would become the next generation growth engine," Chairman Chung Mong-koo said in a prepared speech to mark the company's first hybrid car sold to the government.
It plans to sell 50 hybrids of compact Click to the government. The fuel efficient cars, set to run in the capital Seoul and the metropolitan area, took 16 months to develop and cost the company 10.6 billion won, Hyundai said in a statement.
Hyundai, which set up a research center with Kia in July last year to develop advanced hybrid cars, planned production and sales of gasoline-electric hybrids for the public from the end of 2006, it said.