Hyundai Motor Co. has a habit of thinking big.
Three years ago, it formed a joint venture with the Beijing Automotive Industry Group. And now that venture - Beijing Hyundai Motor Co.- plans to sell more than 500,000 vehicles annually in China by 2008.
Given the size of the Chinese market, any carmaker that is not a significant player there will slip down the global rankings of top automakers. It is the job of Beijing Hyundai President J.M. Noh to make sure that doesn't happen to Hyundai.
"We want to enter the ranks of the world's top five automakers," Noh said in a 2003 interview. "We know we can't get there without increasing our Chinese market share."
Noh, 55, will speak April 20 at the Automotive News China Conference in Shanghai. The theme of the conference, which runs April 19-21, is "How to Prosper in a Buyer's Market."
Noh joined Hyundai in 1975, and worked in quality control for 15 years. In 1990 he transferred to Hyundai's Bromont assembly plant in Canada, then returned to Korea five years later.
He spent four years as plant manager of Hyundai's Asan plant in Korea, then joined Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. in 2002.