Hyundai UK said Mong-Gyu was giving hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions from British journalists but refused to rule out the prospect of a UK plant in the longer term. The development would signal a significant step up in activity for the notably aggressive South Korean manufacturers. Daewoo and Kia are already expanding in Europe, and newcomer Samsung is expected to launch here within the next three years.
Hyundai's UK operation is owned and run by Lex Service, which also has a substantial franchised dealer network and a 70,000-strong leasing fleet. If Hyundai expands rapidly in the UK, it is likely the distributorship would eventually pass into Korean hands.