South Korean automaker Hyundai
Motor Co. (KSE:005380) and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp.
(KSE:000270) plan to launch new car models and strengthen
marketing efforts to expand their presence in Europe, industry
sources said Thursday.
South Korea's top two automakers, which are flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest car manufacturer, said they aim to sell a combined 698,000 units in Europe this year, up 12.4 percent from the year before, local sources said.
The market share of the two companies stood in the 5 per cent range in the first nine months of this year with sales reaching 513,042 units.
The latest numbers for Hyundai and Kia are noteworthy since the European car market is expected to reach 15.20 million units, or a 0.9 percent dip compared to the year before. In 2007, before the onset of the global financial crisis, the European market stood at 1.8 million units.
The two Korean companies said new models such as the i30 small family car and the Rio subcompact are expected to boost sales in the coming months. They, in addition, said plans are underway to launch aggressive marketing campaigns to attract consumers and increase the number of dealerships along with after-sales services.
Dealerships will be increased to 2,500 by year's end, a Hyundai Motor Group executive said.
Industry sources said the upbeat assessments by Hyundai and Kia are based on good consumer responses to new car models and overall price competitiveness vis-a-vis rivals.
They also pointed out that despite the decrease in the size of Europe's car market, some companies such as Volkswagen, General Motors Co. and Nissan have done well by launching new models that are designed to appeal to European consumers and by strengthening their marketing capabilities.
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