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Hyundai, Kia top Russian car market

1.6-liter Gamma engine selected for the ‘Best 10 Engines’ list by U.S. auto media


Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors became the No. 1 and No. 2 foreign carmakers, respectively, in Russian markets in November, according to industrial data.

Hyundai posted sales of 17,283 units in Russia last month, maintaining the No. 1 position for the third consecutive month, according to the Association of European Businesses.

Kia ranked second with sales of 15,115 units, overtaking GM Chevrolet with sales of 15,031 units. Nissan and Renault ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

In terms of sales from January to November this year, Hyundai and Kia ranked second and third, respectively, with sales of 146,981 units and 142,196 units. Chevrolet grabbed the No. 1 position in the cumulative sales with 157,046 units.

Considering the two Korean companies’ year-on-year growth rate of 89 percent and 47 percent, they are expected to surpass Chevrolet in sales next year.

The latest data showed that Hyundai’s strong market presence was fueled by the popularity of the Solaris sub-compact made at Hyundai’s St. Petersburg plant.

The car is a localized version of the Accent small four-door sedan that has been produced in Russia since February. Hyundai said it sold 9,986 Solaris cars last month, the best showing for a foreign car brand in the country and the third best including Russian models.

Hyundai plans to create 5,300 jobs by 2012 in St. Petersburg together with 11 parts suppliers from Korea. It also wants to contribute to the advancement of Russia’s automotive industry by developing and supporting local automotive parts manufacturers, according to Hyundai executives.

The AEB report also revealed that Chinese car brands including Chery, Geely and BYD posted triple digit sales growth last month.

Hyundai and Kia received other good news.

Vehicles produced by Hyundai and Kia Motors won residual value awards in Europe.

Hyundai’s Veloster compact sports coupe and Kia’s Venga subcompact were named 2012 residual value champions in their respective segments by German automotive magazine Auto Bild and Eurotax Glass AG.

Auto Bild and ETG release annual reports on the future value of a car four years down the road, based on such indicators as quality and brand recognition. It checks 11 car segments in selecting winners.

Veloster outpaced the Volkswagen Sirocco and Mazda MX5 in the sports coupe class in the latest evaluation. Venga also came out on top in the multi-purpose subcompact vehicle segment ahead of Toyota’s Verso and Renault’s Kangoo.

In the United States, Ward’s AutoWorld also picked Hyundai’s 1.6-liter Gamma engine on the list of the 10 Best Engines. Hyundai’s Accent and Veloster, and Kia’s Soul and Rio have the Gamma engine with 138 horsepower.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)
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