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2013-09-12 09:14

NEW GOALS IN PLACE: Hyundai says it benefited from the crisis that slammed into Europe's car market in 2007 and will be aiming to have a 5% market share in Europe by 2020. Image: AFP

Simon Morgan

FRANKFURT, Germany - Hyundai wants to increase its market share to five percent in Europe by 2020 from the current 3.5%.

The head of the automaker's European division said at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show that Hyundai actually benefited from the crisis that slammed into Europe's car market in 2007, winning precious market share from domestic European competitors.

Allan Rushforth told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of the show: "We actually took benefit out of the crisis, together with our sister brand Kia. The Korean brands were able to use the crisis and turn it into an opportunity."


Hyundai opened a factory in the Czech Republic in 2007 and begn to expand its European model range. "Now we were able to bring new vehicles into new segments which allowed our sales to grow in a declining market."

While many other manufacturers had taken out capacity in response to the crisis, leaving them unable to respond quickly to the sudden demand, Hyundai and its then new Czech factory was quickly diverted products into Germany.

"That gave us a head start on other car manufacturers and enabled us to get product momentum and sales momentum and increase our sales and share through to where we are today. We doubled our market from 1.7% in 2007 to 3.5% today," Rushforth said.

He believed the European market was on the verge of recovery and that northern Europe in particular has already put the worst behind it.

There were still challenges in Italy and Spain but he added: "Overall I think we'll see recovery from September onwards. And probably two or three-percent growth in the European car market in 2014. Hyundai's ambition is to attain sales of 500 000 by 2017 and a 5% share value by the end of the decade." he said.

Read more on:    hyundai  |  2013 frankfurt motor show

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