The global market share of Hyundai Motor Co. and its corporate cousin Kia Motors Corp. reached 9.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, thanks mainly to demand for newly launched vehicles, industry sources showed Monday.
According to South Korea's two largest automakers and findings by U.S.-based LMC Automotive, the combined market share of Hyundai and Kia topped the 9 percent mark for the first time in three quarters.
The highest market share so far was 9.4 percent reached in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In the three-month period, 21.98 million cars were sold worldwide with sales of Hyundai and Kia hitting just over 2 million units.
The automotive market information provider and company sources said popularity of Hyundai's brand new Genesis premium sedan and its Sonata midsize car, unveiled in late 2013 and early this year, respectively, fueled demand. SUVs made by the carmakers along with demand for steady sellers such as Kia's Soul boxy car and Optima sedans buoyed numbers, as well as recognition for quality, design and value by various automotive evaluators and media outlets, they said.
Another tactic that helped boost the market share was the move by Hyundai and Kia to build cars that are designed for large emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil.
The latest tally showed Hyundai's market share rising from 5.1 percent in the first quarter to 5.7 percent, while corresponding figures for Kia hit 3.4 percent, up from 3.2 percent.
For the first half of this year, combined market share of the two companies stood at 8.7 percent.
In the wake of second-quarter figures, industry watchers are eyeing the possibility of Hyundai and Kia's market share surpassing the 9 percent market for 2014, which will be a new first for the carmakers that are flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth largest automotive conglomerate.
They said full-fledged sale of the Sonata sedan and release of the Sedona minivan in the large U.S. market could bolster sales, with demand for the totally reworked Sorento midsize SUV to be unveiled this summer to help maintain the upward momentum for the rest of the year.
Hyundai and Kia's global market share hovered in the 6-7 percent range in the 2007-2009 period and rose to 8 percent in 2010 but stayed locked in the 8 percent range area up until last year, when their joint market share hit 8.8 percent.
On the market share issue, insiders at Hyundai and Kia said the cadence of new cars hitting showrooms across the globe this year is playing a role in better numbers. The strategy of improving quality and brand equity over increasing sheer volume, however, could lead to repercussions down the road if handled badly, they said. (Yonhap)