Despite the gloomy outlook gripping the world, and the car industry in particular, Hyundai Motor Company (South Korea?s largest automaker) posted its largest global monthly sales ever in October.
The result was achieved thanks in no small part to the popularity of Hyundai?s fuel efficient vehicle range, including models such as the i10, Accent and i30.
Comparing October 2008 to October 2007, global sales rose 12% to 269,958 units, including overseas sales of 217, 223 units, while accumulated sales for the first ten months of the year were up 8.9% from a year earlier to 2,330,617 units.
The overseas sales figure included a 10% increase in exports (to 118,890 units) and a 27% increase in vehicles produced at the company?s overseas plants (to 98,333 units). Exports rose for all models in October as the company diverted more shipments overseas, due to tight supplies resulting from a mid year industrial action.
Demand for Hyundai models around the world tells an interesting story. Demand increased in North America and Europe for the small to medium-sized Hyundai range, including the i10, Accent, and Elantra models. Meanwhile, emerging markets such as the Middle East, Central America, Russia, and Africa experienced a broad increase in demand for models ranging from the smaller Getz to the Tucson compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).
The i10 also proved incredibly popular in the massive developing markets of India and China, where sales of the diminutive Hyundai increased by 66%.
Unlike some manufacturers, including our local car makers, Hyundai appears to be well-placed to weather the current slow-down with a range of fuel efficient vehicles, that are proving to be remarkably popular with buyers.