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Hyundai, Kia struggle to shore up presence on home turf

South Korea’s top two automakers ― Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors ― are facing uphill battles with foreign rivals in the local auto market with their combined local market share staying below the 70 percent mark, industry data showed Sunday.

Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors held a combined 67.3 percent in the home auto market in September, the lowest since December last year when the comparable figure was 66.7 percent, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Their combined market share in the local market a stood at 69.5 percent in the first half of the year, the lowest tally in seven years.

Hyundai’s share on its home turf has been on a sharp decline since April, reaching 43.6 percent in May, 42.8 percent in June, 40.8 percent in July, 39.1 percent in August and 37.2 percent in September.

In contrast, Kia has seen its market presence edge up on the back of rising demand for new models like the Carnival minivan and Sorento crossover SUV.

Its local market share stood at 30.1 percent in September, rising from 29.3 percent in August and 28.9 percent in July, the data showed.

In 2009, their combined market share was 76.8 percent, but since then, their dominance here has been encroached upon by a surge in imports of foreign-made vehicles. Last year, Hyundai-Kia’s market share stood at 71.4 percent, down from 74.6 percent in 2012. (Yonhap)
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