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Kia China venture to enhance research

Kia Motors Corp.’s China venture will invest about $150 million on a research and development center to produce its own brand of cars, according to the parent of the Chinese partner.

The venture, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors Co., will start construction this year and will complete building the center by 2015, Jiangsu Yueda Group Co.’s Vice Chairman Shao Yong said in an interview in Beijing.

Automakers including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG, and Kia are expanding in China after overall auto sales surged 32 percent to a record 18.06 million in 2010, helping China stay the world’s largest vehicle market for the second year running.

Kia Motors, Korea’s second-biggest automaker, said net income rose 4.6 percent to 631.4 billion won ($564 million) in the fourth quarter. The carmaker said previously it plans to boost sales in China by 29 percent this year to 430,000 units.

Shao told reporters in Beijing that Jiangsu Yueda Group plans to almost double its sales to 120 billion yuan ($18 billion) by 2015, from 62.3 billion yuan last year. 

(Bloomberg)
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