Published : 2013-12-25 09:35
Updated : 2013-12-25 18:29
Hyundai Motor, which together with its affiliate Kia Motors ranks fifth in global vehicle sales, has set a new milestone in the all-important Chinese market, with its car sales surpassing the 1 million mark for the first time this year.
Its Chinese joint venture Beijing Hyundai said Wednesday that they are on track to sell more than 1 million vehicles in China this year, possibly up to 1.03 million by the end of this month.
Hyundai, which entered the market back in 2002, has become the second global carmaker to see 1 million car sales in China, trailing only Germany’s Volkswagen.
Considering Volkswagen’s two joint ventures -― Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen -― started operations in 1984 and 1991, respectively, Hyundai was faster than any others in achieving the milestone car sales.
In the early 2000s when vehicles on the Chinese roads were rapidly aging, Hyundai brought out its new, attractive cars such as the EF Sonata and Avante, while pumping up output at its local factories to support the momentum.
The aggressive strategy has proved effective and elevated its brand awareness among the surging Chinese middle class thus far.
Over the past decade, its car sales soared more than 20-fold from some 50,000 vehicles in 2003, the first full year, to an estimated 1.03 million this year.
Referring to the stunning growth, Chinese people have also coined a new phrase: “Hyundai speed.”
More recently in November, Hyundai unveiled its first China-only midsize sedan Mingtu, or Mistra in English, as part of its efforts to further expand its presence in the crucial market.
The carmaker pledged to seek more balanced growth in both sales and brand value over the next 10 years.
“Under our new global slogan ‘Modern Premium,’ we will ramp up efforts to strengthen our brand value as well as product and service qualities,” said Choi Sung-kee, president of Beijing Hyundai.
The company, which operates three factories in China, also plans to increase the number of dealerships to 1,000 by 2015 from the current 800, especially in western and central regions of the country.
By Lee Ji-yoon