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Grandeur bolsters market share of semi-large cars

Jan. 4, 2012 - 15:30 By Korea Herald
The market share of semi-large cars such as the Hyundai Grandeur surged past 10 percent for the first time last year, shrinking that of midsize vehicles.

Passenger cars sold by the nation’s five automakers are classified into six segments in terms of size and engine displacement in Korea ― large, semi-large, midsize, semi-midsize, compact and mini-cars.

The semi-large segment is comprised of the Grandeur, Renault Samsung SM7, Kia K7 and GM Korea’s Alpheon, which accounted for 10.8 percent of all new vehicle sales last year, gaining 4.3 percentage points from a year ago.

Sales of cars in this segment jumped 67.7 percent from a year ago to 158,608 units last year thanks to the popularity of the new Grandeur launched early last year which sold 107,584 units.

“Owners of midsize cars usually upgrade to semi-large vehicles when they buy new cars,” an official at an automaker said.

“Middle class families that own midsize vehicles tend to choose compacts or mini-cars for their second cars.”

Sales of midsize cars ― the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Renault Samsung SM5 and Chevrolet Malibu ― fell 27.5 percent to 246,422 units, reducing their share to 16.7 percent, from 21.5 percent in 2010.

Semi-midsize cars ― the Hyundai Avante, Renault Samsung SM3, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Cruze ― dipped 15.1 percent in sales to 242,020 units despite Avante being the nation’s bestselling car last year. Their market share shrank from 19.5 percent to 16.4 percent.

The share of mini-cars such as the Kia Morning, Kia Ray and Chevrolet Spark slightly rose to 12.6 percent thanks to a 15.3 percent increase in sales volume to 185,135 units.

Sales of compact cars such as the Kia Pride, Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Aveo surged 50.3 percent to 28,887 units, raising their market share by 0.9 percentage point to 2.9 percent.

By Kim So-hyun (