Seoul– Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s biggest carmaker, said on Monday it has signed a joint venture deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to build a car assembly plant in the Middle Eastern country.

Under the deal, the two sides will jointly invest over $500 million to establish the complete knockdown unit plant in King Abdullah Economic City in the western region of Saudi Arabia, with the goal of commencing commercial production in the first half of 2026, reports Yonhap news agency.

The agreement was announced on the occasion of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to Saudi Arabia.The facility will mark Hyundai’s first automobile plant in the Middle East.

According to the company, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 electric and gas-powered vehicles. PIF will hold a 70-percent stake in the joint venture, with Hyundai holding the remaining 30 percent.

As part of its Saudi Vision 2030 government strategy, Saudi Arabia is actively promoting the development of its automotive industry, as the Persian Gulf nation aims to diversify its growth drivers while reducing heavy dependence on its oil industry.

Hyundai has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea Automotive Technology Institute, Air Products Qudra and the Saudi Public Transport Company, or SAPTCO, to develop and establish a hydrogen mobility ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

Air Products Qudra is a joint venture between Air Products, a global industrial gas company based in the United States, and Qudra Energy, a Saudi energy startup. SAPTCO operates domestic buses, as well as international routes to neighboring countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Under the MOU, the parties plan to cooperate in various areas, including the creation of a hydrogen mobility environment and conducting a pilot project for hydrogen electric buses, as well as collaborating on relevant government-supported research programmes. (IANS)