Hyundai Motor Co plans to start producing electric vehicles (EVs) in Indonesia as part of an around $880 million auto investment in the country, Industry Deputy Minister Harjanto said on Thursday.
The Korean company, which together with affiliate Kia Motors is the world's No.5 automaker, plans to build a factory in Indonesia with a capacity of around 250,000 units, including for electric cars, Harjanto told Reuters.
Indonesia has ample reserves of nickel laterite ore, a vital ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs.
The minister noted the plan was to export 53 percent of the cars manufactured in the proposed Hyundai plant, mostly to Southeast Asia and Australia, while the remaining 47 percent would be for the domestic market.
Hyundai's move to set up a plant in Indonesia comes at a time when the carmaker is trying to cut its reliance on China, its biggest market, where it and Kia are reeling from a weak recovery in sales after a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing and facing tough competition from local rivals.