Toyota, the biggest car maker in the world is no longer the largest Asian carmaker in Europe as they have been replaced by South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group. This came in the wake of various recalls by Toyota recently and they have since been trying to ‘repair the damage’ (literally) and while doing so, losing their place to their Korean competitors.
2 of South Korea’s biggest automakers, Hyundai and Kia Motors Corp, had sold some 521,369 units in the first 10 months of 2010 while Toyota only rolled out 511,754 units. According to Europe automotive industry group ACEA (European Automobile Manufactures’ Association), these figures meant that Kia and Hyundai increased their sales by 4% while Toyota’s sales took a slump by 17%.
Hyundai, the bigger between the 2 managed to maintain their steady sales despite the drop in demand from European buyers this year where they launched their Hyundai ix35 SUV, i30 compact and Kia Cee’d compact models respectively. Both the companies have been actively and aggressively marketing their products in Europe where the i30 is rolled out through Hyundai’s Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic while the Kia Cee’d and Sportage are assembled in their Slovakia’s Zllina plant.
Apart from the European success, they have also capitalized on garnering market share belonging to Toyota after their disappointing performance this year. Most analyst are believe that the massive recalls by Toyota had helped Hyundai and Kia tremendously and coming up tops as the largest Asian brand in Europe will surely spur them further. At 4% however, they are not the highest climbers as Japan’s Nissan Motor Co posted a 13% increase.
For the first 10 months, Hyundai and Kia’s market share combined out classed Toyota by merely 0.1% where they are at 4.5% while Toyota dropped to 4.4% from its previous share of 5%. The drop might not be as damaging as falling behind to the Korean brands for Toyota. For 2011, new models from both Hyundai and Kia where they would be looking to strengthen their status while selling more cars. Market sentiments are very positive for both the companies as they are expected to increase their market share further as well with their new models, will further establish their brand names across the region.