SEOUL (AFP) — South Korea's top car maker Hyundai Motor said Sunday it would begin mass producing hybrid cars next year amid growing demand for fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.
The first mass produced model will be a compact sedan, known as "Avante", the company said in a statement.
The hybrid models will then expand into mid-size vehicles in 2010, with fuel-cell cars also being produced in 2012, it said.
Hyundai has produced about 2,800 compact hybrid cars since 2004, largely for government agencies, while Japan's Toyota Motor has dominated the global hybrid car market.
Global demand for hybrid cars is rapidly growing, with 390,125 units sold in 2006 and 517,911 last year, Hyundai said, adding that the figure was likely to grow to 750,000 this year and more than a million by 2010.
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