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Hyundai overtakes BMW in Europe, Kia sales also grow

The number of cars South Korean auto giants Hyundai and Kia sold in Europe grew last month despite declining auto sales in the region, data showed Thursday.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the number of newly registered cars in March fell 5.3 percent on-year, falling for the first time since 2014.

Hyundai Motor, meanwhile, sold a total of 60,663 units, a 3.6 percent increase from the same month last year. Its sister company Kia Motors sold 56,725 units, a 4.8 percent increase in the EU market. In the first quarter, Hyundai’s sales grew 7.6 percent, while Kia saw a 5.2 percent increase. 

Hyundai Motor's electrified version of Kona compact SUV (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor's electrified version of Kona compact SUV (Hyundai Motor)

Driven by its growth in sales, Hyundai Motor sold more than German luxury carmaker BMW in the first three months, making it sixth in terms of market share.

In the first quarter, Volkswagen Group topped the list with 23.7 percent of market share, followed by PSA and Renault, with 16.5 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. US carmaker Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ranked fourth and fifth, with 7 percent and 6.9 percent, followed by Hyundai with 6.5 percent. BMW fell to seventh with 6.1 percent, according to the data compiled by ACEA.

Meanwhile, the South Korean carmaker said it would create around 3,000 new jobs in the next five years.

This will be done through a 35 billion-won ($30 million) plan aimed at nurturing social enterprises, the carmaker said. The funds will be spent as an early investment for budding enterprises with potential. The carmaker also plans to employ professional mentors for the firms to consult on their business portfolios, it added.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)
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