Car manufacturer Hyundai has announced plans to enter the UK mobile phone market.
The new venture will initially set up shop at the Advantage Cellular distribution hub, a mobile telecoms organisation that spans the entire mobile supply chain, using its warehousing and logistics operations to get underway as quickly as possible.
Hyundai hopes to claim between three and five per cent of UK mobile market share within five years.
"The central location and ability to get set up immediately was the reason for selecting Advantage Cellular, and we can use the facilities here to provide physical stock within the territory, rather than suffer delays shipping from the Far East to our UK customers," said Roland Prinz, director for Hyundai Mobile UK.
"We are now eager to meet with networks and distributors that have direct routes to market, especially those focusing on the retail sector."
The move builds on the growing success of Hyundai Mobile Europe, which has launched branches in Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria and local sales organisations in a host of other European countries.
The company has already launched eight handsets and is in the process of setting up sales partnerships in Poland, Italy and France, with sales branches planned in Portugal, Spain, the Benelux countries, Romania and Greece in 2009.
"Hyundai is one of the five biggest car manufacturers and is ranked 72nd in the world's most valuable brands, which is bound to provide a positive image transfer to Hyundai mobiles," said Norbert Winkler, chief executive of Hyundai Mobile Europe.
Winkler added that Hyundai Mobile Europe has used the distribution partners of its parent company to "build up a wide European sales network in just a few months", but views the UK as one of the most important territories within Europe.
Hyundai plans to release between 10 and 15 handsets every year, spanning its Basic, Music, Lifestyle, Innovation and Business segments. Devices in the business sector will run on Windows Mobile and are due to hit the streets in the first half of 2009.
The company will be showcasing its progress at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona in February.
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