Hyundai Motor Co. is considering building a second auto plant in Europe. The Czech Republic is a possible site.
The plant would be for Hyundai, says an executive at a large supplier in Korea.
Hyundai has considered other countries, the executive says, but "right now the Czech Republic is the one they are targeting."
Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors Corp. is building a plant in Zilina, Slovakia, that is due to open in late 2006. The plant is slated to cost about $1.36 billion, and have an annual capacity of 200,000 units. But it is expandable to 300,000 units.
In late August, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Martin Jahn made a three-day trip to Korea. While there, he met with Hyundai.
A Czech Embassy official in Seoul confirms that Jahn was there to contact potential investors to the Czech Republic. But the official says he wasn't privy to the discussions, saying that information was "very private."
A Hyundai spokesman had no comment when asked whether Hyundai is considering building a plant in Europe. But he confirmed that Jahn visited Hyundai.
Jahn declined to comment on Hyundai. He did say he expects $2 billion in new investment to be "coming from South Korea into central and eastern Europe."
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