January 11, 2016 13:31
Hyundai's domestic market share has fallen below 40 percent for the first time in 17 years.
The combined share with affiliate Kia also dropped to its lowest point at 67.7 percent since the two companies merged in 1998.
That is still massive but shows that imported cars, rather than local rivals, are seriously beginning to eat into Hyundai and Kia's dominance, according to analysts.
Data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association and the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association shows Hyundai selling 714,121 cars here last year, giving it a 39 percent market share.
From 1999 to 2014 Hyundai invariably had a market share of at least 40 percent.
The combined market share of Hyundai and Kia already dropped below 70 percent in 2014, and although Kia's share edged up around one percent last year, Hyundai's fell more steeply.
Importers sold a record 243,900 cars last year, accounting for 13.3 percent of the domestic market.
Analysts say Hyundai's market share will stay below 40 percent this year too because it has no new models scheduled for release and its flagships -- the Sonata, Avante and Tucson -- just had a full makeover in the last two years.
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