Hyundai has its eye on European growth

Auto & Audio January 24, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Hyundai Motor is preparing for significant growth in European sales from 2015, following a period of intense investment in its regional infrastructure.

A combination of qualitative enhancements and new vehicles will support the company’s aim to achieve 5-per-cent market share in Europe by 2020, it said in a statement. 
“The primary aim for Hyundai in 2014 is to continue enhancing the quality of our operations in the region – laying the foundations for a new growth period from the middle of the decade,” Hyundai Motor Europe senior vice president and COO Allan Rushforth said. 
“Many European markets are over the worst of the economic crisis, but recovery will be slow, particularly in the first quarter. Recovering economies will fuel consumer confidence, helping Hyundai to achieve its qualitative targets and providing a firmer basis for profitability. As in 2013, we will continue to develop our sales organically rather than pursuing market share gains at any cost,” he said. 
In 2013, Hyundai invested more than €500 million (Bt22.2 billion) in its operations in Europe, and opened two new facilities: a test centre next to the famous Nürburgring track and the purpose-built headquarters of Hyundai Motorsport in Alzenau, home of the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team. 
The Korean automaker also expanded its European headquarters near Frankfurt and its production facility in Turkey, allowing for production of the New Generation i10 and raising the company’s European annual production capacity to 500,000 vehicles. Now, 95 per cent of all Hyundai vehicles sold in Europe are designed and developed in the region, and 90 per cent are built in the Czech Republic and Turkey. 
Hyundai’s aim to achieve 5-per-cent market share by 2020 will be supported by Product Momentum 2017, which will see the launch of 22 new models and derivatives in Europe during the next four years. The programme’s first model, the new i10, went on sale in late 2013 and the second, all-new Genesis, launched at the ongoing North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), will be available in limited numbers in selected European markets later this year. 
Hyundai took a 3.4-per-cent share of the European new car market in 2013, according to figures released by European automotive industry body ACEA. During the same period the overall market decreased by 1.8 per cent. Registrations of Hyundai cars numbered 422,930 – 2.7 per cent less than in 2012.