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Hyundai, Kia see cumulative sales in China surpass 10 mln units

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Monday that they have sold over 10 million vehicles in China, a milestone achieved in just 13 years since its entry into the market.


The two said that their cumulative sales in China came to 10,000,776 units as of last Friday, topping the 10 million mark for the first time since its debut there in 2002.


Hyundai Motor has sold some 6.55 million vehicles in China, while Kia Motors has sold about 3.45 million units.


This is faster than Volkswagen and General Motors, whose cumulative sales in China took 25 years and 17 years to reach the 10 million mark, they said.


China became the third country for Hyundai and Kia to sell more than 10 million cars, following the same success in South Korea and the United States in 1996 and 2011.


Hyundai and Kia set up joint venture companies in China with local partners in 2002, when they sold only 31,097 units in the market.


Their cumulative sales exceeded 1 million in 2006 for the first time and the pace has accelerated ever since. From 2010, they are selling more than 1 million cars every year.


"Behind the success in China is our drive to develop designs that meet the tastes of local consumers and vehicles that are optimized for local road conditions," the automakers said.


Hyundai and Kia currently run plants in China that can produce up to 1.95 million vehicles annually. Hyundai recently broke ground for its fourth local plant in Changzhou, while planning to begin construction of its fifth plant in Chongqing during the second half.


When the two plants are up and running, Hyundai and Kia would have the capacity to churn out 2.7 million cars annually in China from 2018.


The two automakers' push to expand their presence in China is in response to the fast-growing demand in the world's most populous market. Statistics showed that its passenger car sales spiked from 5.39 million units in 2008 to 17 million units last year. (Yonhap)

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