Hyundai now ranked world’s 5th largest automaker

It’s not the top of the mountain, but Hyundai is getting closer. According to the trade publication Automotive News, Hyundai jump from the seventh to the sixth largest automotive manufacturer in the world.

The Detroit-based weekly’s most recent survey of global automotive sales and production shows Hyundai. and its subsidiary Kia Motors Corp. had an 11.6 percent jump in sales in 2005 to 3,715,096 units. It was the largest percentage gain of any carmaker in the million-plus sales category.

Hyundai’s greatest success was in the Chinese, Indian and Russian markets where there was double digit increases. The more competitive North American and European markets showed modest paces of growth.

The survey results, published this June 5, include sales of cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles and buses. General Motors topped all the manufacturers with world-wide sale of 8,381,805. Hyundai’s totals were 3,715,095. Sandwiched between GM and Hyundai were Toyota (8,120,000), Ford (6,208,700), Volkswagen (5,242,793) and DaimlerChrysler (4,854,700).

Hyundai entered the automotive field in 1967. Today it consists of more than two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates and employs over 68,000 people worldwide. Hyundai Motor posted US$26.1 billion in sales in 2004 (on a non-consolidated basis).