Mike Stevens | Jul 9, 2008

I never miss an opportunity to remind folks that I've been backing Hyundai since the 90s to be the world's next big value performer, but truthfully, it's a little easier these days to convince people than it ever was back then. But hey, I guess that's the point.

With global sales of 3,961,629 vehicles in 2007, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group has beaten back the competition to take the title of fifth largest automaker in the world, moving up from their 2006 position of sixth.

Between Hyundai-Kia and utter world domination stands Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, and Ford. With Toyota's ongoing success, GM's rejuvenated assault, and Volkswagen's outspoken intention of obliterating Toyota, it's fair to say the Koreans have got their work cut out for them—but they've sure as seashells got a lot to be happy about right now.

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Ik-Hwan Kim, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Kia Motors, said

"We are extremely proud of having achieved this goal in such a short period of time. We have been stressing the value of our products over the last few years and our efforts have not gone unnoticed by the public or the industry, neither quantitatively or qualitatively.

"Kia will continue to focus on producing a new generation of quality vehicles with distinctive design for those who are young-at-heart to keep the momentum of our brand growing. As a top global automaker, we are set to move in new directions with continuous improvements in quality, design, eco-friendliness and brand innovation for years to come."

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As a whole, the group has gone from strength to strength since its beginnings in 1944. In 1999, it was the world's eleventh largest automaker, which was the same year Chairman Mong-Koo Chung stepped up as CEO of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Since Chairman Chung's ascension, the group has continued to evolve and strengthen its offerings into a truly world-class product.

The standings for 2007, which are the most current on record, are as follows:

2007 Global Sales Rankings

1. Toyota 9,366,000

2. GM 8,902,252

3. Volkswagen 6,191,618

4. Ford 5,964,000

5. Hyundai-Kia 3,961,629

6. Honda 3,831,000

7. Nissan 3,675,574

8. PSA/Peugeot 3,428,400

9. Chrysler 2,676,268

10. Fiat 2,620,864

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