Hyundai's Accent becomes No. 2 best-selling car in Russia in first half

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co.'s subcompact Accent became the second best-selling car in Russia in the first half of this year, data showed Friday.

Hyundai sold 57,009 units of the Accent, called the Solaris in the Russian market, between January and June, according to data posted on the website of the Association of European Businesses (AEB) based in Moscow.

Still, the sales of the Accent in the first six months represent a 2 percent drop from a year ago.

The Accent is followed by the Pride subcompact built by Hyundai's smaller sister company, Kia Motors Corp. Kia sold 44,236 units of the Pride, called the New Rio in the Russian market, during the cited period, up 5 percent from a year ago, according to the data.

Russia's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ sold 84,241 units of the subcompact Lada Granta in the six months through June, making it the best-selling car in Russia. The sales represent an 87 percent jump from a year ago, according to the data.

Meanwhile, Kia sold a total of 94,870 units in Russia between January and June, up 4 percent from a year ago. Hyundai sold 89,466 vehicles in Russia during the cited period, compared with 89,243 units a year ago.

The combined market share of Hyundai and Kia accounted for 13.8 percent in Russia during the cited period, compared with 12.7 percent in 2012.

The association said Russian and foreign carmakers sold more than 1.33 million vehicles between January and June, down 6 percent from a year ago.

"I think it is obvious that, as a whole, the Russian car market is not in the best of shape at this point," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a comment posted on the Web site.

"The question now is whether the market can do better in the second half of the year. Personally I believe it can, and the chances for that have increased with the announcement of government plans to subsidize credit-backed vehicle purchases."

Meanwhile, Kia said cumulative production of its cars in its assembly plant in West Point in the U.S. state of Georgia has surpassed the 1 million mark since 2009 when the carmaker began to roll out vehicles.

Hyundai operates its plant in Montgomery, Alabama, while Kia runs an assembly plant in Georgia. The two plants can produce 360,000 vehicles, respectively, on an annual basis, according to Hyundai.

Hyundai and Kia are the two flagship units of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest carmaker.

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