Kia ranks second for first-ever time in new car sales race

Official figures due out today are expected to show South Korean carmaker Kia taking second place in Australian new car sales behind Toyota for the first time in its history, overtaking Hyundai, Mazda and Ford.

South Korean car giant Kia finished in second place behind market leader Toyota for the first time in its history last month, according to figures due to be released today.

While Toyota – which has dominated the local new car market for the past 19 consecutive years – was expected to account for nearly one in four of all motor vehicles sold in Australia last month, the big mover has been Kia.

Official sales figures for May 2022, due out midday today, are expected to show Kia announced 7,300 new cars sold last month, behind Toyota’s tally of 22,000 vehicles and ahead of sister brand Hyundai which reported 7000 deliveries.

Although Kia has already placed third on the podium, it has never placed second.

The result means Kia remains ahead of sister brand Hyundai in the year-to-date sales race.

This is the longest continuous period that Kia has overtaken Hyundai in Australia.

As previously reported, 10 years ago, Kia Australia’s total annual sales were approximately one-third of Hyundai Australia’s total sales.

Now – just weeks after Kia Australia boss Damien Meredith celebrated eight years at the helm of the company after a senior role at Hyundai – the two brands are neck and neck.

Kia has outperformed Hyundai in Australia for four of the first five months of this year.

Taking another step, Kia and Hyundai have led the year-to-date count each month through 2021.

As noted, the close battle means buyers are the big winners as bickering siblings compete for customers in the same vehicle categories.

As the sales figures of all the major car brands rise and fall depending on the arrival of stocks, a clear trend is emerging between Kia and Hyundai.

Historical data shows that Kia’s sales have accelerated and Hyundai’s sales have slowed down over the past eight years.

Industry watchers believe that at least part of Kia’s sales success has come at the expense of Hyundai.

Kia and Hyundai cars share jointly developed vehicles, engines and technology, but the cars have unique styling and are manufactured in separate factories.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, spending most of his time working for the Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and an early member of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in late 2018 and was a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.

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