Hyundai Sales in Europe Drop

Hyundai Motor's car sales in Europe dropped for the first time in five years. The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association on Thursday said Hyundai sold 422,930 cars in Europe last year, down 2.7 percent from 2012.

The Korean firm's market share fell from 3.5 percent to 3.4 percent.

But sales of affiliate Kia Motors rose 0.1 percent over the same period. Their combined market share was 6.1 percent, down 0.1 percent.

Hyundai has been targeting the European market with small cars since the global financial crisis in 2008, and sales initially rose from 271,064 in 2008 to 432,240 in 2012. But a lack of new models led to the decline last year.

The new Hyundai i30 was released in early 2012, so it had little impact in 2013, and the sale of compact i10 started only in November last year, too late to make a big difference in the annual sales chart.

The supply of popular models like i40, Santa Fe and Veloster was also disrupted due to a two-seek strike in Korea in last August, the company claims.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 20, 2014 13:11 KST