Shares of Hyundai, Kia contract in EU market in June: report

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. lost market share in the European Union (EU) in June, official data showed Thursday.

According to the data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai's market share stood at 3.2 percent in June, with Kia's standing at 2.7 percent for a combined 5.9 percent share of the 1,189,143 cars sold by all carmakers for the entire month.

Their combined market share represents a noticeable dip from 6.3 percent reached in June 2013.

The loss in sales is in contrast to the 4.5 percent increase in new cars sold in 27 member states last month.

Hyundai sold 38,136 units last month, down 4.4 percent from 39,896 vehicles a year ago.

Sales of Kia were up 3.4 percent to 32,449 units in June, compared with 31,386 units posted a year earlier.

Combined sales of South Korea's two-largest carmakers reached 70,585 vehicles, down a modest 0.9 percent from the previous year's tally of 71,282.

For the first six months of 2014, Hyundai sold 212,284 cars in the EU, a decrease of 2.2 percent from 216,968 units sold in the January-June period of last year, the findings monitored in Seoul said.

Sales number for Kia, on the other hand, gained a healthy 5 percent on-year to 180,414 units from 171,813.

Despite the increase in sales, Kia's market share for the first half was down to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent, with Hyundai's numbers dropping from 3.5 percent to 3.2 percent.

Combined sales of the two brands, flagship companies of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, stood at 392,698 units, up 1 percent from a year earlier, thanks mainly to steady demand for Kia cars.

Regarding last month's numbers, the South Korean automotive group said the lack of new, small models that are popular among European motorists have exerted a negative pull for Hyundai, while the popularity of compact multipurpose vehicles such as the Carens and Soul have helped Kia increase sales steadily this year. Both companies have been hurt to some extent by unfavorable exchange rates that make locally made cars more expensive abroad.

"Hyundai will try to make a comeback in the coming months with the introduction of the new i20 supermini, with Kia expecting the brand new Sorento SUV will further boost sales," a spokesperson said.

The ACEA's latest findings showed that the number of new cars registered across Europe rose for the 10th-straight month in June.

It said for the first six months of the year, new car sales were up 6.5 percent on-year to 6,622,996 vehicles, compared with 6,220,759 units sold a year earlier.

The ACEA data for June showed Volkswagen Group, which includes marques such as Audi and Skoda, enjoyed a market share of 23.8 percent, down from 24.3 percent reached a year before. This was followed by PSA Group, made up of the Peugeot and Citroen brands, which controlled 11 percent, with Renault holding an 11.9 percent stake in the market. GM, Ford and Fiat all had better market shares than Hyundai and Kia combined.

On the other hand, Japanese carmakers like Toyota, including Lexus, had a market share of 3.9 percent, with Nissan's numbers standing at 3.5 percent.

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