Hyundai, Kia expand presence in Russia's auto market

SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. have jacked up their stake in Russia's automotive market this year to a record high on the back of strong demand for their mid-sized cars, data showed on Wednesday.

According to the Association of European Businesses (AEB) based in Moscow, the two South Korean automakers garnered a combined 13.8 percent in the Russian auto market in the first eight months of the year, matching a previous record high of 13.8 percent in 2007.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's No. 1 automaker, sold 118,438 vehicles in Russia in the January-August period, and Kia Motors, the No. 2 player, sold 128,982 units during the cited period, the data showed.

Their market share in Russia fell to 9.7 percent in 2008 amid the global financial meltdown, but since then has been on the steady rise.

The record market share came more than two years after Hyundai Motor began to roll out two models - the Solaris and New Rio compacts - at its assembly plant in Saint Petersburg.

Hyundai builds Kia Motors' New Rio in the plant as the Hyundai's smaller sister company does not have its own plant in the Eurasian country.

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