Hyundai-Kia beat out Mercedes, Toyota and Nissan
The staggering decline in the European economy has hit automakers particularly hard.
New car registrations are down 8.7% since April and it’s hitting the bottom line of European car makers hard.
Despite all that, Hyundai and its sister company Kia are actually seeing sales improve. Hyundai sold 34,448 units for an increase of 5.7% over the previous years, whereas Kia improved by almost 30%, selling 30.556 units.
With a combined market share of 5.9%, the Korean duo easily beat out the likes of Daimler, Toyota, and Nissan, all of whom saw positive increases.
Hyundai i30, Kia cee’d boost European sales
Hyundai officials believed that their impressive sales were driven largely by models made exclusively for the European market.
The push to develop their European sales began in 2007 with the release of the Hyundai i30 and the Kia Cee’d, both of which are hatchbacks.
Such was the success, the production of the i30 was moved from Korea to a Hyundai’s plant in the Czech Republic, where they started producing smaller versions of the i30.
The success of the i10 and i20, both of which were previously exclusive to the Indian market, plans are in place to double production at the Czech and Turkish facilities.
Kia’s European success has come largely on the hatchback of the Cee’d which account for 30% of their total sales in the continent.
They have particularly high hopes for the latest model which was launched in June, especially since the rise in fuel prices has consumers looking for smaller, more fuel efficient cars.
Industry and financial experts, such as Choi Joong-hyuk, an analyst at Shinhan Financial and Investment, believe that the positive results for Hyundai and Kia aren’t about to end anytime soon.
He expects to see the Hyundai Group continue to do well thanks in large part to the Korea-EU FTA, new launches, and the expansion of production lines.
Credit also has to be given to group chairman Chung Mong-Koo who, on a recent visit to Europe claimed that the global slowdown in car sales should be combatted in Europe where the slump originated.
Local car development
Hyundai had made something of a habit of offering exclusive models in different parts of the world.
In India they launched the 800 cc mini car Eon alongside the i10 and i20. In Russia they took into account road and weather conditions when releasing the Solaris and ended up delivering 120,000 units last year alone.
In China, Hyundai went with a redesign of the Elantra and delivered the Yue Dong, whereas Kia went with the K2. Both of those models account for over 20% of car sales in China.