Earlier this week when
America product development VP John Krafcik revealed that the company would unveil a
hybrid version of the Sonata
LA Auto Show
, some of the PR people in the room seemed to be caught by surprise. Now the Chairman of the Hyundai-Kia Auto group, Mong-Koo Chung has confirmed that and more. Over on the
blog, the chairman has affirmed production of a
version of the
in Korea in 2009 followed by a mid-size hybrid (namely the
) in 2010. Mong seems to think that more environmentally-friendly cars actually make business sense judging from this comment "low-carbon, environmentally friendly cars represent a high value-added industry of the future that will promote sustainable growth." The ability to offer more efficient, less polluting vehicles are expected to actually be a selling point as fuel prices and environmental concerns increase.
Going beyond the hybrids, Hyundai and
intend to continue pushing forward with
technology as well. The group wants to commercialize
beyond the 66 vehicles they have running in the field today. The company plans to expand the field test fleet to 500 vehicles by 2010 and begin series production in 2012. Mong hasn't indicated where the company plans to sell these vehicles and how customers will get fuel.