Now that clean emissions and petrol pricing are firmly on the global agenda, the world's consumption habits are changing accordingly, and the world order of automobile manufacturers is in massive flux. Japan's Toyota took over from America's General Motors last year and is now safely the world's number one, but the big mover of the last 12 months has been Korea's Hyundai/Kia group, which has now passed Ford for fourth place. When GM is broken into saleable chunks, Hyundai/Kia could become the third largest – up from 11th spot just a decade ago. The big question now is how long it will take to get Chinese and Indian representation within the top 10.
Based on figures from the Automotive News Data Centre, the Korean manufacturer has overtaken Ford which saw it’s sales fall by more than 30 per cent in the first half of 2009, selling 8,000 more vehicles than the U.S. giant in the first half of 2009.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Results for all of last year saw Hyundai-Kia trail Ford by around 1,000,000-units, but by weathering the impact of the global recession with excellent product selection at the right time, the group has managed to take fourth place much quicker than expected.
Go back just 10 years and the newly unified company was in 11th place overall, but rapid globalization has seen factories built in several countries including Slovakia, the United States and China. The manufacturing facilities have been geared-up to build products that are designed and engineered for local markets. The Kia cee’d is a leading example, being designed, developed and engineered in Germany and built in Slovakia.View gallery - 2 images