Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have decided to postpone the commercialization of their hybrid Verna and Pride by more than 12 months. The commercial hybrid production was originally scheduled to start late in 2007. Questions about profitability of the cars is spurring the delay. Also, the company is worried competitors might file complaints with the World Trade Organization against Hyundai/Kia, since government aid has been promised to make the production of hybrid vehicles in Korea more attractive. The hybrid Verna and Pride have been supplied to government ministries since 2004 in a pilot scheme, and sales to consumers were scheduled to start late in 2007. Policymakers are expressing concern over the competitiveness of Korea's automobile industry, especially since Toyota and Honda are planning to start selling hybrids in Korea towards the end of 2006.
[Source: The Korea Times]

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