Hyundai produces a wide variety of vehicles, from urban runabouts to heavy-duty trucks, and almost everything in between. The company is now plugging one of the few remaining holes in its lineup with the commencement of production on its first light commercial vehicle (LCV), the H350.

First unveiled last year at the Hanover Motor Show, the H350 is set to compete against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit. Production of the European designed and engineered vehicle began this week in Bursa, Turkey at the plant of Hyundai's production partner, Karsan Automotive.

The multi-purpose LCV is being built upon a flexible platform designed to support van, bus and chassis-cab body styles. The 3.5-tonne (3.85 ton) van will come in a choice of 5.5 m (18 ft) or 6.2 m (20 ft) overall lengths boasting a cargo capacity of 12.9 m3 (455 ft3) and the ability to carry five Euro-standard pallets.

Meanwhile, the 4-tonne (4.4 ton) bus variant features 13+1 seat layouts and a choice of passenger access doors. Finally, the chassis-cab is aimed at versatility with the vehicle designed to form a foundation for customized bodywork to support cargo boxes measuring up to 4 m (13 ft) long and 2.32 m (7.6 ft) wide.

The vehicles will be powered by a 2.5-liter engine offered in a standard power variant boasting 110 kW (147 hp) and 373 Nm (274 ft-lb) of torque, and a high power variant generating 125 kW (168 hp) and 422 Nm (311 ft-lb). Both versions meet Euro5 emissions regulations.

"With the start of production of the All-new H350 today, Hyundai Motor will begin to play a key role in the European commercial vehicle sector," said Byung Tae Yea, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Company on Thursday. "This portion of the market is forecast to grow significantly over the next few years, so now is the right time for Hyundai Motor to enter Europe’s big van segment."

The H350 is set to go on sale in Turkey this month and in nine other European countries from next month, before an expansion into additional European markets next year.

Source: Hyundai