If you were shocked by the news from around this time last year that the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group had jumped up to 5th in the global standings of the world's largest car manufacturers, you'll be just as surprised by the latest sales figures that place the Korean automaker this year in the fourth slot, leapfrogging past Ford to slot in (significantly) underneath Volkswagen.
The figures come from the Automotive News Data Center, which places Hyundai-Kia's global sales for the first half of 2009 at 2,153,000 units, just edging out Ford's 2,145,000 units so far this year. Of course, these numbers count the Nissan-Renault Alliance as two separate units, with 1.5 million and 1.1 million units respectively, but if combined they'd knock Hyundai (as well as Ford) out of position with over 2.6 million units. After Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Ford, French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen comes in sixth, just barely ahead of Honda, with Nissan in 8th, Suzuki in 9th and Renault rounding out the top ten. Check out Kia's official press release after the jump.