Hyundia-Kia To Take 4th In Global Sales Race. Guess Who Will Take 5th

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
hyundia kia to take 4th in global sales race guess who will take 5th

Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo sees Hyundai-Kia taking the number 4 spot in global autos sales this year. The podium positions are already spoken for: Volkswagen will take third, the number one position remains a tight race between Toyota and GM.

The Seoul paper sees Hyundai-Kia “overtake the Renault-Nissan alliance to become the world’s fourth largest carmaker. Hyundai ranked fifth last year, with Toyota on top followed by GM, Volkswagen, and Renault-Nissan.”

The trouble is: It’s not true. Even more troubling Hyundai-Kia will most likely topple Ford.

According to OICA, the official scorekeeper of global production data, Nissan and Renault were not even close to the #4 position. They can’t, because they are not counted together. Last year, Nissan was in the #8 position, while Renault ranked 11th.

Who WAS on fourth last year? Ford.

Last year, Ford was only a few cars ahead of Hyundai-Kia. Ford reported 4,685,394 units in 2009, Hyundai-Kia reported 4,645,776.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, Hyundai and Kia had sold 5.22 million from January through November this year: “The figure is an increase of 23 percent compared to last year, which is the highest growth rate in the industry.”

Ford’s year-to-date global sales are not available, but let’s take a reading: In the U.S.A., growth was 21 percent through November. In the EU, Ford’s second most important market, sales were down 13 percent through November. Ford South America and Ford Asia Pacific Africa play only minor roles at Ford. Last year, Ford South America sold only 120K units more than Volvo. Oops, Volvo …

So all told, it doesn’t augur well for Ford. Hyundai-Kia will most likely take the #4 spot this year. Just not from Renault-Nissan.

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9 of 10 comments
  • John Horner John Horner on Dec 23, 2010

    "They can’t, because they are not counted together."

    Just because the OICA says something doesn't make it true. If counting Hyundai and Kia together makes sense (questionable given Hyundai's minority stake in Kia), then counting Renault and Nissan as a group certainly does.

    Just because an authority figure does something silly doesn't mean that we have to go along with it.

    • See 3 previous
    • Don1967 Don1967 on Dec 24, 2010

      Separating Hyundai and Kia sales on a legal technicality would reek of political motivation. The two product lines are virtual clones of each other, in fact some of them are even built on the same assembly line. If anything, differentiation is their greatest challenge. By contrast, Renault and Nissan come from separate continents, they compete in different markets, they share relatively few platforms, and nobody considers them as equals when shopping for a new car. If we're going to group their sales together purely on the basis of legal ownership, then we might as well include forklifts and ocean liners and other stuff they make.

  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Dec 23, 2010

    Hi John! Though most of the time I agree with you, this time I agree with Bertel. To wit, how GM counts its car sales in Brazil. They lump the Chevy Classic and Corsa sedan together. Though they're 2 different cars. But it helps them in rankings. Same is true for others down here (VW's Gol, Fiat's Palio/Siena/Uno). Agree. Picture plus Bertel's commentary, priceless.

  • Jpnuss Jpnuss on Dec 23, 2010

    Yes Bertel, and God forbid we use our brains! This site is called "The truth about cars", and the truth is that Renault and Nissan are managed like one global corporation, with shared product development, investments and production, and with one CEO, Carlos Ghosn. So why would we not count their combined production?

  • MattPete MattPete on Dec 23, 2010

    What's up with the 3 orange dudes?

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