The Automotive News Data Centre has published the car sales figures for the first half of this year. The most important change in the top 10 list of auto groups is the fact that the South Korean group Hyundai Motor Company that also owns Kia has overtaken the Ford Group to become the fourth largest automaker in the world. Hyundai Motor Company and Kia have sold a total of 2.153.000 cars in the first half of 2009, a figure that is bigger by only 8000 units in comparison to the American automaker Ford . Hyundai Motor Company and Kia have experienced a fantastic ascension in the last decade, coming from the 11th place all the way up to become now the 4th largest automaker in the world.
An explanation to the fantastic growth of the South Korean automaker might be the decision to create a couple of factories in some countries like China, Slovakia and the United States. In these factories the South Korean automaker has built models that are designed and engineered specifically for the markets where they activate.
The spokesman of Kia has stated that ``Results for all of the last year saw Hyundai-Kia trail Ford by around 1.000.000 units, but by reducing the impact of the global recession by producing the right product for the right times, the group managed to take fourth place much quicker than had been predicted``.
The financial and economic crisis has made a huge impact on the sales of all of the top 10 automakers. Toyota is still the biggest automaker in the world, after selling 3.564.105 cars in the first half of the year, a figure that is lower by 26% in comparison to the same period of 2008. The second largest automaker in the world is still General Motors . The American automaker has managed to sell 3.552.722 vehicles, a smaller figure by 21.8% in comparison to the same period of 2008. It is very important to notice that Toyota is still the biggest automaker in the world but only just, having an advantage of only 11.383 cars in comparison to General Motors. Thus, the second half of this year might come with a big surprise, with General Motors having the possibility to overtake the title of the biggest automaker in the world. Going back to the top 10, the Volkswagen group is still on the third place after selling 3.100.300 cars in the first half of 2009, a figure that is lower by 5.1% in comparison to the same period of 2008. We have to say that Volkswagen`s performance is remarkable, in the extremely difficult economic conditions a loss of only 5.1% is a good performance. Ford has slipped down to fifth position after a loss of 30.6% in sales figures in comparison to the same period of 2008.
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