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Hyundai-Kia Wants To Be Number Four in the World

The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is expected to hit worldwide sales of 5.7 million vehicles for 2010, which puts it firmly in fifth place. For 2011, though, it is aiming to pick off the Renault-Alliance manufacturing alliance to become number four in the world.

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Toyota continues to be the top seller globally with about 8.4 million in sales, in spite of massive recalls in the U.S. that have hurt its sales here. GM follows in the second position with sales this year of about 8 million and Volkswagen in third with about 7 million in sales. Renault-Nissan should be about 6.5 million by year’s end.

According to a report in The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korea newspaper, If Hyundai-Kia achieves its goal of selling 6.4 million cars next year, there is a chance it will break into the ranks of the top four. It won't be that easy, however, to displace Renault-Nissan given that the alliance's sales have already surpassed 6 million this year. Realistically, Hyundai-Kia is likely to post sales of over 7 million units around 2013, which could bring the goal to fruition.

"The sales gap between Hyundai-Kia and Renault-Nissan last year was just around 600,000 units," said Choi Dae-shik, a researcher with HI Investment & Securities. "As Renault has been focusing on developing new technologies such as electric vehicles rather than quantitative expansion, the two automakers could see their ranks swap as early as next year."

Hyundai-Kia’s goals, though, may be hampered somewhat by its weakening sales in China. Korean automakers have not been faring as well there as other, bigger players have come into that lucrative market. GM has set a target of selling more than 2.3 million cars annually in China.

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