Continents Prepared to Shift as Korea Rockets Closer to Europeans

What a week for Hyundai Motor Co. and its subsidiary Kia Motors Corp. Not only have both brands enjoyed stellar performance on J.D. Powers and Associates highly influential Initial Quality Study (IQS), seeing the Hyundai division topple both Toyota and Honda to achieve the highest ranking amongst entry-level nameplates, third place with only 102 problems per 100 vehicles (only Porsche and Lexus are ahead), and Kia rise up through the ranks to place ahead of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mazda and Subaru, plus many others, but now, according to an Automotive News survey, Hyundai Automotive Group (which includes Kia) outpaced Nissan in 2005 to lay claim on the sixth worlds largest automaker title with a total of 3,715,096 global unit sales.

Automotive News surveyed global automotive sales and production of cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles and buses to arrive at the conclusion, which showed Hyundai Automotive Group registering an 11.6 percent improvement in global sales during 2005. No rival carmaker in the million-plus sales category came close to achieving what the Korean group did with regards to percentage gain. Therefore, Hyundai and Kia moved up a single ranking from seventh place the year before.

Where has all the growth come from? While Hyundai and Kia are making significant inroads in North America, both brands have made major gains in the Chinese, Indian and Russian markets.

While a celebration is no doubt under way at Hyundai-Kia group operations around the world, the Korean manufacturer has its long-term sights on the fifth largest ranking, targeting 2010 to move up one more notch. Is it doable? Never say never, of course, but it would mean continued growth by its Hyundai and Kia brands as well as a dramatic decrease in DaimlerChryslers sales, now sitting at 4,854,700 units – 1,139,605 units more than Hyundai Automotive Group. And DCX is pushing its Chrysler Group products more aggressively in Europe, Dodge for the first time, which should only strengthen its fifth place ranking.

Still, since 1999, Hyundai Automotive Group has passed Fiat, Honda, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Nissan and Renault, in their quest to move into sixth place globally. Dont doubt that DaimlerChrysler AG is paying close attention.

Current Global Automaker Rankings:

Ranking – Manufacturer – 2005 Global Sales

  1. General Motors – 8,381,805
  2. Toyota Motor Corp. – 8,120,000
  3. Ford Motor Co.� – 6,208,700
  4. Volkswagen AG – 5,242,793
  5. DaimlerChrysler AG – 4,854,700
  6. Hyundai Automotive Group – 3,715,095
  7. Nissan Motor Co. – 3,597,748
  8. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA – 3,390,000
  9. Honda Motor Co.� – 3,365,000
  10. Renault SA – 2,533,428

Korean manufacturer has its long-term sights on the fifth largest ranking, targeting 2010 to move up one more notch. Is it doable? Never say never, of course, but it would mean continued growth by its Hyundai and Kia brands as well as a dramatic decrease in DaimlerChryslers sales, now sitting at 4,854,700 units – 1,139,605 units more than Hyundai Automotive Group. And DCX is pushing its Chrysler Group products more aggressively in Europe, Dodge for the first time, which should only strengthen its fifth place ranking.

Still, since 1999, Hyundai Automotive Group has passed Fiat, Honda, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Nissan and Renault, in their quest to move into sixth place globally. Dont doubt that DaimlerChrysler AG is paying close attention.

Current Global Automaker Rankings:

Ranking – Manufacturer – 2005 Global Sales

  1. General Motors – 8,381,805
  2. Toyota Motor Corp. – 8,120,000
  3. Ford Motor Co.� – 6,208,700
  4. Volkswagen AG – 5,242,793
  5. DaimlerChrysler AG – 4,854,700
  6. Hyundai Automotive Group – 3,715,095
  7. Nissan Motor Co. – 3,597,748
  8. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA – 3,390,000
  9. Honda Motor Co.� – 3,365,000
  10. Renault SA – 2,533,428