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Hyundai Overtakes Toyota as the Biggest Asian Carmaker in Europe

 

23 November 2010 - When one falls another shall rise in his place. We're talking about Hyundai, as it has been able to overtake Toyota as the largest Asian carmaker in Europe. The long series of recalls and changes in the market meant that Toyota, once a giant of the car world, is now a shadow of its former self.

Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate KIA Motors Corp have managed to sell a combined 521,369 vehicles in the first ten months of 2010, a 4 percent improvement over last year, earning them the title of the biggest Asian carmaker in Europe. The increase in sales means that the two companies now have a 4.5 percent piece of the European market pie. 
 
Taking Toyota’s crown was only possible thanks to a worrying 17 percent drop in Toyota and Lexus combined sales. The 511,754 units it managed to shift in the first 10 months of this year accounts for a 4.4% stake in the European market.
 
"Hyundai and Kia have clearly benefited from Toyota’s massive recalls,” said Ahn Sang Joon, an auto analyst at Tong Yang Securities Inc. in Seoul, who was quoted by bloomberg. “They have also expanded their model lineups in European markets giving more choices to consumers.”
 
It’s not all rosy in Europe though, as total auto sales have dipped 5 percent this year to 11.6 million units. While the market is showing signs of improvement, it is not in as good a state as it once was.
 
Hyundai looks set to widen the gap between it and Toyota even further, as it has launched a line of cars specially tailored to the European market. Hyundai produces i30 compact cars at a plant in the Czech Republic and Accent small cars in Turkey. Kia makes cee’d compacts and Sportage sport-utility vehicles in Slovakia.
 
The results were largely expected by the market, Hyundai losing 4 percent on its stock yesterday in Seoul trading, while Kia only dropped a more modest 2.3 percent.
 
Toyota, on the other hand, is on a downward slope, with sales dropping 6.3 percent in the U.S. this year. Nevertheless, we wouldn't be so quick to write off the Japanese brand yet as you never know what the future may bring.
 








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