Four vehicles made by top South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. have won 2011 Middle East Motor Awards, industry sources said Wednesday.
The cars that ranked first in their respective sections were Hyundai’s Accent subcompact and Elantra compact and Kia’s Optima mid-size sedan and Sportage compact sport utility vehicle.
The two automakers are the flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest car manufacturer, with Hyundai sales in the region rising 6 percent on-year in the January-October period to 241,000 units. Kia sold 151,500 vehicles up till the end of last month for a gain of 3 percent from the year before.
“The first place awards given to the vehicles show the rising competitiveness of Hyundai and Kia in the Middle East,” a spokesman for the motor group said. “The awards could boost future sales in the region.”
Winners of MEMA, the biggest and most coveted awards in the Middle East automotive industry, are decided by a panel of experts and journalists. The awards were first launched in 2010 and evaluate new cars that hit the market in the past year and are sold in at least five countries in the region. A total of 21 different car categories are assessed for the annual event.
Last year, Hyundai’s popular Sonata mid-size sedan was picked as the best car in its class. (Yonhap News)
The latest recognition from the Middle East comes as four Hyundai and Kia vehicles were short-listed for the 2012 North American Car of the Year, and five cars made by the South Korean carmakers won the 2012 Canadian Car of the Year awards.