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Hyundai and Kia ranks world No. 3 in EV sales

Posted September. 18, 2020 07:19,   

Updated September. 18, 2020 07:19


Hyundai Kia Automotive Group has climbed to become the world’s No. 3 complete vehicle manufacturer of the year thanks to its strong performance in the EV market.

Market research firm SNE Research announced on Thursday that Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors ranked 4th and 8th with a sales volume of about 36,000 and 22,000 units, respectively, according to data on EV sales volumes of auto companies in 77 local markets between January and July this year.

When top 10 rankers are regrouped according to their basis of corporate capital, Hyundai Kia Automotive Group claims third place following U.S. carmaker Tesla with a global sales volume of 190,000 units and Renault Nissan Mitsubishi that sold around 84,000 units. Recording a sales volume of 55,000 units or so, Audi-Volkswagen chases right after South Korea’s leading automobile maker.

An increased sales of commercial EVs turned out to the greatest contributor to Hyundai Kia Automotive Group’s successful market performance. With the Porter 2 EV emerging as a good-selling truck, Hyundai Motor Company saw its sales volume increase by 12.3 percent within a year. The Bongo 3 EV, the Niro EV and the Soul EV led Kia Motors’ sales to rise by 39.4 percent on a year-on-year basis. Heralding a spur to EV manufacturing throughout the latter half of the year and next year, Audi and Volkswagen saw their sales go up by 92.6 percent and 63.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Chinese EV makers such as BYD and SAIC-GM-Wuling went through poor market performance due to the stagnating domestic market. Tesla firmly held the title as the global No. 1 EV seller by seeing its sales rise by 2.7 percent thanks to the China-made Model 3’s buoyant sales.

Hyundai-Kia achieved a sales growth even as the global EV market shrunk between January and July by 20 percent, compared to the year-earlier period, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Market experts attribute the South Korean car manufacturers’ good performance to their lead in the commercial vehicle segment prior to the expected release of EVs equipped with next-generation platform technology.

SNE Research said that Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is enjoying rising sales of car models that were launched around the end of last year and earlier this year in the European market, expecting that they will enhance their global status as an EV market player if the U.S. market picks up.

Hyung-Seok Seo skytree08@donga.com