Hyundai Motor Co. (HMC) has announced that it plans to distribute its commercial vehicle products in the United States. Initially, HMC will offer a compact range of light and medium Class 4 and Class 6 vehicles through a dealer network that will be supported by a directly affiliated company, to be announced in early 2002.

The light-duty and medium-duty trucks will be fully supported by parts, service and warranty arrangements by HMC. Additional products for the U.S. market incorporating powertrains developed by a commercial-vehicle engine joint venture with DaimlerChrysler are planned for 2004.

Bering Truck dealers, who earlier distributed custom-manufactured commercial vehicles by Hyundai, will have the opportunity to become Hyundai commercial vehicle dealers.

Bering Truck Corp. suspended operations in June and is in litigation with both DaimlerChrysler and HMC. Since that time, HMC has voluntarily provided interim parts and warranty support to Bering Truck dealers and customers.

"The move represents the creation of a new business by Hyundai Motor in the United States and allows the difficulties caused by the failure of Bering Trucks to be overcome," HMC senior executive vp Byung-Kee Smith said in a letter to former Bering Truck dealers.