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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.

[Source: Kia]



Kia Motors (UK) Ltd. is pleased to announce that parent company, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, has become the fourth largest global automotive manufacturer, according to data just published.

Based on figures from the Automotive News Data Centre, the Korean manufacturer has overtaken Ford which saw it's sales fall by more than 30 per cent in the first half of 2009, selling 8,000 more vehicles than the US giant in the first half of 2009.

Results for all of 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 has managed to take fourth place much quicker than had been predicted.

Go back just 10 years and the newly unified company was in 11th place overall, but rapid globalisation has seen state of the art factories being built in several countries including Slovakia, the United States and China. The manufacturing facilities have been geared-up to build products that are designed and engineered for local markets. The Kia cee'd is a leading example, being designed, developed and engineered in Germany and built in Slovakia.

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