KOREAN car brand Hyundai expanded its presence in Cebu with the recent opening of the largest Hyundai shop in the country to date, the Hyundai Cebu South dealership.

Made possible through Hyundai Cebu Inc. of Cebuano businessman Edward Onglatco, the newest three-storey, 6,500-square-meter automotive hub is along J. De Veyra St. at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

The newest addition to the local automotive industry is expected to add more cars in the streets.

“Cebu City’s economy has prompted a significant rise in the demand for mobility. With Cebuanos constantly on the lookout for a reliable means to move from place to place, Hyundai Cebu South will help boost Hyundai’s market share in the Queen City,” Hyundai Cebu Inc. said in a statement.

Hyundai Cebu South is the fourth new dealership that opened this year, bringing the Korean carmaker’s dealership in the country to 42. Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) is the official distributor of Hyundai passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the Philippines.

This year, HARI targets to sell 35,000 units, a 15-percent growth from last year’s sales at 22,058 units, a report published in Hyundai’s website said, quoting HARI president and chief executive officer Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.

The Korean car distributor, however, experienced a four-percent decline in sales last year, from 22,058 units sold from 23,019 units in 2014. During the first quarter, media reports said HARI posted a 39 percent sales growth to 7,469 units from 5,364 units last year.

This year, Hyundai is expected to benefit from the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which reduces tariff of Korean cars in ASEAN markets from 25 percent to five percent.

Agudo recently commended Hyundai Cebu Inc. for embracing the “new dealership experience.” Hyundai Cebu South is the first in the Visayas region to implement a “modern premium” green building standards and technologies.

The Hyundai Cebu South facility was constructed in accordance with the Geared for Resiliency and Energy Efficiency for the Environment (GREEN) criteria of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI).

The dealership also has a “Yakal” pre-certification issued by the independent green accreditation body, a distinction given to buildings that scored 55 to 69 percent in terms of “eco-friendly” construction methods and operations where Hyundai Cebu South scored 67.1 percent.

Car sales in the Philippines is expected to hit the 500,000-mark by 2020. This year, the automotieve industry is expecting to sell 350,000 cars.