News - Hyundai

Koreans now fourth in sales stakes

Breaking through: The Kia Sorento is one of the new generation of Korean vehicles that are giving the Hyundai-Kia group traction in the Australian market.

Hyundai-Kia group moves up behind the big three car-makers in Australian sales

Hyundai logo19 Jan 2010


FIAT and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he is convinced the world’s car-makers need to consolidate to survive.

His argument is that brands cannot survive alone and need to team up to produce sufficient cars to be competitive.

“I believe in the fact that this business is going to end up being run by four or five very large automotive groups,” he told GoAuto in an interview at the Detroit motor show.

“I think there is no alternative – this is a volume business.”

Mr Marchionne has been as good as his word, with Fiat taking on the battered Chrysler Group last year.

Some groups, however, are moving the other way, shedding brands from their portfolios.

Ford has moved to divest itself of Volvo, the last of its Premier Automotive Group acquisitions, and General Motors is throwing Saab overboard and selling Hummer.

In this column, we often compare brands without taking into account who owns them.

Analysing the Australian VFACTS sales numbers by ownership groups makes for interesting reading.

The order of the top three brands remains the same regardless of whether you add their sub-brands.

Toyota Motor Corporation is still a clear leader with 206,827 sales, which includes 200,991 Toyota sales and a modest 5836 contribution by Lexus.

GM sold 120,660 vehicles in Australia last year thanks to Holden, but without much help from its troubled siblings Saab and Hummer, which managed just 1092 between them.

Ford Australia sold 96,501 units, but thanks to its Swedish sub-brand Volvo, which was still part of the family then, added 4668 sales – enough to lift it above the 100,000 mark, to 101,169.

Mazda was the fourth best-selling brand, but in this group analysis, the Japanese independent is passed by the juggernaut that is the Hyundai-Kia company.

The rising star Hyundai sold 63,207 cars in 2009. Combined with the Kia effort of 19,407 for an impressive 82,614.

Mazda, the top selling independent, sold 77,739.

Another independent, Mitsubishi, came in next with 56,998 sales.

In much of Europe, Renault is the stronger partner in the Renualt-Nissan alliance, but not in this part of the world.

While Nissan sold 52,901 cars in Australia last year, Renault managed only 2400, with the total inching up to 55,301.

The Volkswagen Group is massive in Europe, but is still relatively small stuff in Australia, even if some of the brands, including Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini, make up for it with rather high margins. Taking into account all six brands in Australia, VW Group sales add up to 43,737. Of those, Volkswagen accounted for 39,087 vehicles and Audi did 11,310.

Without the help of any other brands, automotive loner Honda was pushed back a place with 41,443 sales in front of another two independents, Subaru, with 36,506 sales and Suzuki with 20,298.

BMW sold 17,099 cars in 2009, rising to 19,138 when 2030 Mini sales and nine Rolls-Royce sales are rolled in.

Mercedes did not get much help from its friends. The luxury brand shifted 19,000, while its sibling Smart only added 382 sales. That was at least better than the ultra-posh brand Maybach, which added a single sale to the group’s total.

Although the newly expanded Fiat Group is huge in a global sense, all of its brands are relatively minor in Australia, with a combined 2009 tally of 11,826.

Of the seven brands, Jeep is the largest with 4193 sales in front of Dodge with 2434 and Fiat with 1921.

European power couple Peugeot-Citroen is no giant Down Under with a combined total of 7346. Peugeot is the clear star of the marriage with 5744 sales versus Citroen’s 1602.

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