Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, said Sunday that total car exports to Latin America reached 2 million units, fueled by competitiveness in quality and successful marketing efforts.
The company said the milestone, which was reached on Saturday with the loading of 800 Tucson ix sport utility vehicles bound for Chile, represents a two-fold increase from 1 million cars that had been shipped out at the end of 2006. The first cars were exported in 1976.
“The steep rise in exports in the past few years is a testament to how many improvements have been made to quality competitiveness and successful marketing efforts that called for selling cars that best met local market conditions,” the company said.
More efforts will be made to enhance customer satisfaction of models such as the Avante and Veloster compacts and Grandeur full-sized sedan that are very popular in the region, it added.
Hyundai, which is the flagship company of Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automaker, began exporting cars to the region when it shipped out five Pony subcompacts to Ecuador in 1976. In that year, total sales to Latin American countries amounted to just 334 units, with aggregate vehicle exports of 100,000 being reached in 1993.
The carmaker added that thanks to strong demand, it currently exports 17 different models to 41 countries in Central and South America. It said Hyundai holds a 10-15 percent car market share in such countries as Chile, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.
After shipping out 245,575 cars last year, Hyundai shipped 175,275 units in the first nine months of this year, it said.
Hyundai, meanwhile, said that with the completion of its Brazilian plant in November 2012, it will be able to produce 150,000 cars in the region annually. Such an increase will make it easier for the company to expand its market presence in Latin America.