SOUTH Korean car manufacturer Hyundai had started production at its first assembly plant in South Africa, initially building medium-sized commercial trucks, a spokesman said yesterday. The Benoni plant had been assembling trucks since July, ahead of a formal launch in September, Deon Sonnekus said. The company expects to also assemble pick-up trucks from next year. South Africa is the continent’s leading automotive manufacturer and aims to build 1.2 million vehicles by 2020. However, labour strikes and slowing economic growth in recent months have curbed output at the local plants of some of the world’s main car makers, including Ford, Toyota and BMW. – Reuters