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South Korea's two leading automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. saw
their combined market share top 10 percent in China in the first 11 months of
the year for the first time, industry data showed Monday.
Hyundai and Kia sold a total of 1,198,194 vehicles through November in China for a market share of 10.4 percent, trailing Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co., according to the data.
Their combined market share has reached the 10 percent mark for the first time since 2002 when Hyundai established Beijing Hyundai, a 50-50 joint venture in China, with local partner company Beijing Automotive Co.
The January-November sales also represent a 12.7 percent jump from a year ago, and exceed last year's overall sales of 1,172,318 units.
Hyundai and Kia's steady sales of the Langdong subcompact and the K3 led the robust sales in the Chinese market, they added.
Industry insiders said Hyundai and Kia, the flagship companies of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive group, are beefing up their efforts to meet growing demand in the world's biggest car market by expanding their local plants.
Kia's third Chinese plant will be completed by 2014, raising Hyundai and Kia's combined production capacity to 1.74 million units per year from 1.44 million this year.
"Japanese carmakers' aggressive marketing campaigns and the Chinese government's tightened regulations will heat up competition in China next year," said a company official. "We will focus more on exploring untapped inland regions and fostering better dealers."