Hyundai breaks into UK top ten car makes

Hyundai has broken into the top ten best-selling car manufacturers in the UK for the first time after posting record sales of 74,285 vehicles in 2012.

The firm, which increased its total sales volume by 18.1% between 2011 and last year, becomes the first ever Korean car brand to enter the top ten in the UK and it now also boasts a record market share of 3.63%.

The company has seen sales almost triple in just four years, with over 250,000 more cars on the UK's roads now compared to 2008, and Hyundai UK president and CEO Tony Whitehorn has described last year in particular as "exceptional".

He says people are now "reappraising" the brand as it invests in desirable new products and offers something more than simply the good value that it is renowned for.

Hyundai has soared from 21st position in the UK car market to 10th in a relatively short period of time and Whitehorn called that a "tremendous achievement" and paid tribute to the hard work of staff and the dealer network for making it possible.

Much of the success last year was down to the award-winning i10, which sold 13.5% more units than in 2011 at 23,000. It even outsold the likes of the Ford Ka and VW Up to become the second best-selling car in the A-segment with a 12.5% share.

The i30, which sold more than 12,000 units, also performed well in the C-segment sector against tough competition from the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra and has been voted the Carbuyer.co.uk's Car of the Year and nominated for the 2013 European Car of the Year award.

Meanwhile, the firm also sold more than 11,000 versions of both the i20 and the ix35. The latter is the oldest vehicle it produces and sales skyrocketed by 58% in 2012 to give it a segment share of approaching 5%.

The i40 and Veloster sold 5,700 and 1,700 respectively in the first full year they were on the market and Hyundai's sales in the UK now represent almost 17% of the company's total European sales.

However, it expects to see sales stabilising in 2013 and will look to invest more in the customer experience as opposed to new products as it strives to create "an environment for healthy and sustainable growth in the future".

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