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SUV sales

Hyundai, Kia rev up SUV sales in India amid pandemic lockdown

By Jan 11, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor's mid-size SUV Creta
Hyundai Motor's mid-size SUV Creta

Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister firm Kia Motors Corp. are emerging as preferred sport-utility vehicle brands in India, as one in every two SUVs sold in 2020 was made by the South Korean automakers.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Jan. 11, the two carmaking units of the Hyundai Motor Group sold a combined 315,532 SUVs in India last year, up 45.6% from 2019.

Hyundai Motor’s Indian sales rose 5.1% on the year to 180,237 units, while Kia’s sales tripled to 135,295 units.

Of all SUVs sold in India, Hyundai took up the lion’s share of 25.5% in 2020, up from the previous year’s 22.7%. Kia came in second with 19.1% of the SUV market. Combined, the two Korean automakers accounted for 44.6% of India’s recreational vehicle market.

The Korean duo’s decent sales growth came amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a lockdown in many Indian cities from March through May of 2020.

Affected by the pandemic, India’s overall auto market shrank by 17.4% last year, with SUV sales falling 6.3%.


Kia Motors' Seltos SUV
Kia Motors' Seltos SUV

The Korean automakers’ Indian sales were led by Hyundai’s mid-size SUV Creta, the Hyundai Venue and Kia’s Seltos.

Hyundai Motor India sold more than 90,000 units of the Creta and over 80,000 units of the Venue in 2020. Kia sold 96,932 units of the compact SUV Seltos in India last year, more than double its sales in 2019.

In December, the Hyundai Venue became the best-selling SUV of the month, beating its stronger rival, the Vitara Brezza, a five-seater SUV made by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

On the back of the rising popularity of its SUV models, Kia Motors’ total auto sales, including sedans, in India increased to 140,505 units in 2020 from 45,226 cars in 2019, raising its total market share to 5.8% from 1.9%.

Hyundai Motor’s total sales shrank 16.9% in 2020. That compares with Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.’s 36.8% fall and Honda Motor Co.’s 47.6% decline.

Write to Sun A Lee at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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