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Hyundai-Kia Increase Global Market Share
The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is making strides in the overseas market. Not only have sales increased, its market share is also going up. In addition to emerging markets such as China, Hyundai and Kia are faring well in advanced countries, where they had traditionally been outdone by European and Japanese automakers.

From January to September this year, Hyundai-Kia sold 1,332,511 cars made in 11 overseas plants including in the U.S., China, India, Russia, Turkey and the Czech Republic, up 230,000 from a year ago.

In China, they sold 230,000 cars between January and September 2008 but 430,000 this year. In the U.S., 580,000 were sold this year, up 20,000 from a year ago.

Hyundai's market share in the U.S. market was around 2-3 percent last year, but the company has been consistently posting 4 percent since February this year. In Canada, where Hyundai had a 5 percent market share last year, it was 7.3 percent this year. In Australia, this year's market share was 7 percent, up from 4.4 percent last year.

Lee Myung-hoon, an analyst for Korea Investment and Securities, said, "Hyundai and Kia's expansion in overseas market will continue for a while thanks to their success in reducing cost price and localized marketing strategies. What they need to do from now on is to strengthen their brand power among medium-sized to large cars."

There are cautious predictions that Hyundai-Kia could step in Toyota's shoes as the company is focusing on increasing production capacity and raising the sales goal from 4.2 million cars in 2008 to 6.5 million by 2013.

But Lee Hang-koo of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, said, "The enormous leap that Hyundai and Kia have taken is partly due to the favorable exchange rate and the struggle of its Japanese rivals. Unless they fundamentally increase their competitiveness by solving chronic labor disputes and through innovate management, they might run into more serious problems than Toyota is currently facing."
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