FRANKFURT -- Hyundai Motor Co. aims to increase its European market share to 3 percent this year, Chang Kyun Han, president of the Korean automaker's European operations, said at a press event Tuesday in Frankfurt.
Han's comment reiterate what Hyundai Europe Chief Operating Officer Allan Rushforth told Automotive News Europe in the spring. At that time Rushforth said: "We plan to achieve a 3 percent market share this year up from 2.6 percent last year, 2.4 percent in 2009 and 1.8 percent in 2008. ... That means selling just above 400,000 units."
Hyundai's share through the first six months is 2.8 percent, according to data from industry association ACEA.
The maker of the Veloster coupe is targeting sales of 500,000 by 2013, Han added. A market share of 5 percent in Europe "remains very far from us," Han said. "But we have to think more and more of challenging those companies around eighth place in terms of market share, who have around 5 percent of the market."
COO Rushforth was a bit more bullish when he spoke to Automotive News Europe in the spring. "Our medium-term forecast it to sell half a million cars by 2013 and, beyond that, to achieve a 5 percent market share within 5 years – by 2015," he said. "The ultimate goal is to be one of the top five automakers in Europe."
Hyundai is adding a third shift at plants in Nosovice,Czech Republic, and St. Petersburg, Russia, as it seeks to lift its sales from 359,369 vehicles in Europe last year.
Hyundai's European unit, based in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, was previously too concerned about competing with Toyota Motor Corp., Marketing Director Mark Hall said in an interview. "We should be competing with Ford, Opel and these sort of brands," he said.
Ford Motor Co. sold 1,295,925 vehicles in Europe in 2010, while General Motors Co.'s Opel sold 1,084,070, according to ACEA. Hyundai will present a new generation of the i30 hatchback at the Frankfurt auto show next week.
Source: Bloomberg with contributions from Douglas A. Bolduc