Hyundai Motor Co. announced on June 28 that it is considering investing about 1 trillion won ($869 million) to develop and make as many as 10,000 gasoline-electric cars a year by 2010, reports Bloomberg News. South Korea's largest automaker may start making the so-called hybrid version of a new passenger sedan to replace its Verna model by the end of 2005, projected to be the first hybrid cars produced in South Korea. Hyundai is entering the development of gasoline-electric vehicles to compete with its bigger rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. at a time when surging gasoline prices are attracting buyers to hybrid cars. The company is also developing fuel-cell versions of its Santa Fe and Tucson sport-utility vehicles. Hyundai and its Kia Motors Corp. affiliate want to make as many as 5 million vehicles a year by 2010, becoming one of the world's five biggest carmakers.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials