Hyundai is set to enter the Chinese market with local manufacturer BAIC. But at what cost?
Shouwang is one of the newest automotive brands to emerge in the ever crowded motor industry. As can be expected, it is a Chinese nameplate for cars that will be sold solely in China. The brand is owned by Hyundai Motor of South Korea and the Chinese car manufacturer BAIC and this will mark Hyundai's first joint cooperation of this kind specifically for the ever-important Chinese market.
And not surprisingly, the new company will be subjected to the extra security measures the Chinese are famous for, specifically in regards to production and other industrial techniques and a strict observance over intellectual property ownership. At the 2011 Guangzhou Auto Show, taking place this week in the southern Chinese city, the new joint venture unveiled a new concept car called the BHCD-1. It's a great looking design concept though no specific technical details were released. As opposed to previous Hyundai models sold in China, this is not a tweaked car but a concept that was designed from scratch.
According to reports the Chinese manufacturer played only a minor role in the concept's development. Compared to some other Chinese automakers, Shouwang may have a better chance of success strictly due to its close relationship with Hyundai. The question remains, however, is how what exactly the Chinese government is getting out of this arrangement? In other words, what amount of patented technology will Hyundai have to reveal in order to expand their operations in the largest growing automotive market in the world?