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China now Hyundai’s No. 1 market

May 31,2010
Hyundai Motor Company sold more cars in China than in Korea for the second consecutive month in April, signalling that China has become the biggest market for the country’s leading automaker.

Hyundai said yesterday it sold 57,014 vehicles in China last month compared to 55,339 units in Korea.

Hyundai sold more cars in China than in Korea in January, March and April this year. February was an exception because its sales dropped due to a decline in output caused by a facility upgrade at its production line in Beijing, Hyundai said.

The company’s Korean sales through April of this year topped Chinese sales 223,369 to 218,603, but Hyundai said if the facility upgrade was taken into account, the Chinese market has actually become larger than the Korean market.

Hyundai attributed the sales increase in China to the popularity of the Yuedong compact sedan, known as Avante HD in Korea, and Elantra, known as Avante XD, and the ix35 compact sport-utility vehicle, which sells under the name of Tucson ix in Korea.

Yuedong was the best-seller in China’s compact car market in April, reclaiming the No. 1 position from Chinese automaker BYD’s F3 model for the first time in six months. Yuedong made up 36.9 percent of Hyundai’s sales in China in April. Elantra was Hyundai’s second best selling vehicle in China, with 12,338 units sold in April, followed by the Accent, Tucson, ix35 and EF Sonata.

“Hyundai built factories in China just at the right time to meet explosive growth in demand,” a Hyundai spokesman said.

“China surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest auto market last year, and China will become Hyundai’s biggest market for the first time this year.”

The company hopes to distribute 670,000 cars in China this year, and plans to launch a Chinese version of its small sedan Verna in the latter half of the year.

Hyundai operates two auto production plants in China with an annual production of 600,000 cars.

Hyundai Motor manufactured a total of 3.1 million vehicles last year including 1.49 million produced overseas.


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]



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