Hyundai and Kia’s China sales jump 19% in Oct.
The nation’s leading automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have been in the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, including a $100 million civil penalty they had to pay to the United States for inflating fuel-efficiency ratings on their cars.
But one piece of news out of the companies is purely positive: October sales in China were at their highest for this year.
Hyundai Motor said yesterday it sold a total of 92,455 cars in October in China, a 15.5 percent rise from a year ago, while its affiliate Kia Motors sold a total of 57,037 units, a 25.3 percent rise.
Combining the performances, the sister companies sold a total of 149,492 cars and enjoyed 19.1 percent growth from a year earlier, a high for the year.
The best performance before October was when the two sold 147,510 units in March, a 14 percent rise.
Their best performance in terms of growth in China was June 2013 when they saw 36.2 percent growth.
The group said its No. 3 factory that opened in China earlier this year was a huge plus. It produced Kia’s small-size K3 sedan until July, but started producing K4 sedans, a model only sold in China.
Hyundai Motor said it expects to ride high in the market because it will start selling a new sports utility vehicle (SUV) that shares the body platform of the small SUV model ix25, a car that Hyundai only sells in China, in the first half of next year.
In its lineup, the small Langdong sedan, which is sold as the Avante MD in Korea, was the best-selling car in the country with 22,821 units sold in October, followed by the Verna (Accent in Korea) at 18,657 units, Kia’s K3 at 15,531 units and the K2 (Pride in Korea) at 12,805 units.
Hyundai added that the small SUV model ix25, which they started selling in September, is attracting Chinese buyers, selling 3,972 units in its first month and 6,080 units last month.
Kia’s K4, the model between the K3 and K5 that was introduced in the market in August, is also popular, selling 5,522 units in October.
The group said Hyundai and Kia had a combined 1.42 million units in sales in the past 10 months, a 9.4 percent rise from a year ago’s 1.29 million units. It expects to sell more than 1.7 million units by the end of the year to break its record of 1.57 million units last year.
BY KWON SANG-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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