Fleet News

Lex pays £20 million for UK Hyundai franchise

LEX Service has acquired complete ownership of the UK import franchise for Hyundai. Lex bought a 50.1% stake in the business four years ago, and has bought the remaining 49.9% from the International Motors Group for £20 million, with payments staggered until September 2000.

It announced its intention to acquire the full import rights in its 1996 results (Fleet News March 7, 1997). Hyundai's market share has grown from 0.5% in 1993 when Lex took over the management of the importership to an estimated 1.2% share this year. In the first half of 1997 Hyundai Car (UK) made an operating profit of £3.1 million.

Hyundai, South Korea's leading motor manufacturer, is likely to come under greater pressure after Daewoo agreed to buy the car division of SsangYong. The deal will see Daewoo acquire a 53.5% stake in SsangYong Motors for an undisclosed sum, and take on significant proportion of the troubled carmaker's debts. The announcement came hard on the heels of news that Daewoo was in talks with LDV about replacement models for the Birmingham-based van company's Pilot and Convoy models.

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