Combined sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales of South Korea’s biggest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. in China have exceeded 30 percent of their entire sales in the world’s largest auto market for the first time, as their latest SUV models succeeded in winning hearts of Chinese consumers.
According to the industry’s announcement on Sunday, total 187,395 units of Hyundai’s ix25 and Tucson, as well as Kia’s KX3 and Sportage were sold in China in the first four months of this year, accounting for a record high of 36.3 percent of the entire car sales of 515,698 units in the country during the same period.
The combined SUV sales of the two car makers accounted for a mere 2.6 percent of their total vehicle sales in the Chinese market in 2005, but since the release of the Tucson and the Sportage, their total SUV sales soared to 27 percent in 2015 and finally topped the 30 percent mark this year. Since Hyundai launched its first-generation Tucson in the market in 2005, SUV sales volume of the two companies has been steadily rising, exceeding 200,000 units in 2011 and 400,000 in 2013. As their SUV sales in the first four months of this year already passed 40 percent of last year’s total SUV sales of 453,995 units, combined SUV sales of this year would most likely surpass 500,000 units this year.
Hyundai’s new Tucson released in September last year and Kia’s new Sportage launched in March this year have been widely popular in the market, helping to fuel overall SUV sales of the two companies in the market, according to industry experts. Hyundai and Kia’s strategy to keep tweaking and improving the older models even after the release of new models is also believed to have helped lift their overall SUV sales.