Hyundai and Kia plan to do a combined 1.3 million sales in Europe by 2008, according to company spokemen - a move that would put them at the same level as Ford and Renault in the crowded European market. The Korean company has followed the same playbook as others by establishing strong growth as an importer (sales have increased 70% over the past two years), and then building domestic production capability. This will come in the form of two plants in Slovaki and the Czech Republic, having a combined capacity of over a half-million annual units. What scares competitors is that the planned increase in Hyundai and Kia sales is more than the growth of the entire European market, meaning that the company intends not only to soak up all the new growth, but also take existing sales away from established competitors. Does that story sound familiar?
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