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Hyundai Motor’s sales of eco-friendly cars up 36.2%

Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur Hybrid (HMG)
Hyundai Motor’s Grandeur Hybrid (HMG)

Hyundai Motor Group’s sales of specific models -- hybrid, plug-in, electric and hydrogen-powered -- in the local market jumped over 36 percent in the first half of this year, indicating a growing preference for eco-friendly cars. 

The top South Korean automaker said Sunday its sales of the eco-friendly cars stood at 67,798 as of June, up by 36.2 percent compared to the same period last year. 

Specifically, it sold a total of 37,697 units, up by 29.3 percent on-year, while Kia Motors sold a 30,101 units, up by 45.9 percent on-year. 

By type, sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models came at 53,000 units from January to June, up by 53.3 percent compared to last year. Such models attributed to 76.2 percent of the automaker’s overall eco-friendly car sales. 

Sales of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles also grew by 69 percent at 2,612 units. 

But the sales of electric models totaled 13,950 units, inched down by 11 percent on-year. 

Hyundai Motor officials said that the company’s launch of new hybrid models such as Kona Hybrid this year has attracted consumers, while there has been no new EV models, also citing market saturation with foreign EV brands including Tesla Model 3. 

The automaker’s flagship sedan Hyundai Grandeur’s hybrid model has topped the list for similar model sales at 16,885 units in January-June, followed by Kia Niro with 10,082 units. Trailing Niro were Sorento (6,796), K7 (5,547), Sonata (4,891) and K5 (3,797).

Sonata Hybrid saw the largest increase in sales. In the first half of this year, a total of 4,891 units were sold, compared to 1,227 in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, EV models’ sales including Kona EV almost halved by 46.2 percent in the first half of this year compared to last year at 7,697 units. 

Market data showed that overall EV sales in the local market have diminished, such as GM Korea’s Chevrolet Bolt EV which saw 23.5 percent decrease in sales on-year and Renault Samsung Motors’ SM3 ZE which only had 457 units sold in the first half of this year. 

By Kim Da-sol (