Cars made by Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. have been rated as the best low-cost ownership models in Australia, raising hopes for stronger sales down the road, industry sources said Tuesday.
Hyundai’s i30 hatchback family car and Starex van and Kia’s Sportage R compact sport utility vehicle and Sorento mid-sized SUV ranked first among cars checked in their respective segments by the Australian Automobile Association on behalf of Australia’s motoring clubs this year, according to the sources.
The association is made up of six major car insurers and calculates the average annual cost of operating a car. Australian consumers often refer to the cost of ownership report prior to purchasing new cars.
The i30 was tapped as the lowest-cost vehicle among small family cars, beating such rivals as the Volkswagen Golf. The Starex took the top of the van segment, with Kia’s Carnival coming in second.
In the compact SUV sector, the Sportage ranked first, with Hyundai’s Tuscon ranking second, while the Sorento came in first in the mid-size crossover SUV category, beating the Ford Territory.
In addition, Kia’s K5 sedan received honors at the 2011 Australian International Design Awards along with the Peugeot 3008.
Hyundai and Kia said the good reviews come as they have released more new car models in the country and have actively moved to attract consumers and expand market share.
In the first half of this year, Hyundai’s sales in Australia rose 1.4 percent on-year to 42,978 units with Kia’s shipments gaining 3.3 percent to 12,836 units. The overall Australian market contracted 6.6 percent on-year in the January-June period.
Hyundai’s market share, meanwhile, came to 8.7 percent, or fifth after such brands as Toyota and Ford, with Kia’s numbers reaching 2.6 percent. The combined market share of the two South Korean carmakers was the third-largest in Australia.