South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group has now surpassed Toyota as the largest Asian car manufacturer in Europe this year after the Japanese company’s sales tumbled on recalls.
Hyundai and affiliate Kia South boosted European sales by 4% in the first 10 months to 521,369 units, according to data released last week by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Toyota sales, including its Lexus premium brand, plunged 17% to 511,754 units.
The Seoul-based group has withstood the slump in demand for cars in Europe this year as it took advantage of the popularity of its cars with the various government back scrappage incentives. The car maker has also won market share in the US from Toyota after the Japanese car maker recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for repairs related to unintended accelerations.
“Hyundai and Kia have clearly benefitted from Toyota’s massive recalls,” said Ahn Sang Joon, an automotive analyst at Tong Yang Securities Inc. in Seoul. “They have also expanded their model lineups in European markets giving more choices to consumers.”
Overall car sales in Europe have fallen 5% this year to 11.6 million units, according to the car makers group with Nissan posting the biggest increase among the major brands, with sales climbing 13%.
Hyundai and Kia’s combined market share in Europe totalled 4.5% through to the end of October, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier. The market share of Toyota, the world’s biggest car maker, declined to 4.4% in the same period from 5%, according to the car makers association.
The Korean car manufacturers European sales may climb even more next year as they are preparing to introduce new models specifically designed for the region, said Kim Byung Kuk, a Seoul-based analyst at Daishin Securities Co.
The Seoul-based car makers combined global market share will climb toward a record 8% this year and exceed that figure next year, Edaily reported last week, citing Hyundai Motor President Yang Seung Suk.