Kia and Hyundai Could Challenge Market Leaders in China

Hyundai and Kia May Take the Lead on the Chinese Market 1 photo
If predictions hold up, Hyundai and Kia will sell 1.3-million vehicles in China, which is more than Toyota, Nissan or Honda. The two Korean brands have undergone a revival in recent years, matching and even surpassing cars made by more appreciated manufacturers, as they have done with the new i30, for instance.
They have succeeded on the Chinese market, despite being partners with Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp., a state-owned corporation which has already dragged joint ventures with Chrysler and Isuzu into failure. Apparently, Hyundai-Kia’s relationship with the state owned enterprise is also a rocky one but they seem to manage. Neither Kia nor Hyundai have a clear and good brand image in China, as compared to the main European and Japanese manufacturers, despite being at least on-par with them in terms of the general quality of their products.

The Korean group still have to sort out concerns about poor service in their Chinese dealerships, and they are doing this by investing millions to improve the customers’ experience with their brands. The cars are still somewhat attractive to the Chinese buyer, and with 25 different models between them (most of which are made in China) the two brands have a decent line-up with which to face the other manufacturers and a keen and smart pricing policy to make sealing the deal even easier.

With Q1 sales up by 7% compared to 2011, having sold 310,000 units so far, they have an ace up their sleeve, in the form of a new assembly plant, opening in July, with a capacity of 400,000. If they improve service quality, the increased production capacity may propel the group to the top of the Chinese market.

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