With global sales of 3,961,629 units in 2007 the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group has emerged as the world's fifth largest automaker moving up from sixth place in 2006, according to Automotive News' 2008 Global Data Book published yesterday.

"We are extremely proud of having achieved this goal in such a short period of time," said Ik-Hwan Kim, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Kia Motors. "We have been stressing the value of our products over the last few years and our efforts have not gone unnoticed by the public or the industry, neither quantitatively or qualitatively. Kia will continue to focus on producing a new generation of quality vehicles with distinctive design for those who are young-at-heart to keep the momentum of our brand growing. As a top global automaker, we are set to move in new directions with continuous improvements in quality, design, eco-friendliness and brand innovation for years to come."

The Group has seen remarkable growth since its foundation. It ranked as the world's eleventh largest automaker in 1999, the year Hyundai-Kia Chairman Mong-Koo Chung took over the helm as CEO. Since then, it has moved steadily up the rankings ladder as under Chairman Chung's leadership the Group accelerated the push to globalize operations by building new manufacturing plants in the United States, China, India, Slovakia, Czech, Russia and Brazil.

Counting the export sales of 185,114 complete knock-down kits which are assembled by overseas partners, the Group's 2007 global sales reached 4,146,743 units. Automotive News' methodology excludes CKD sales.

2007 Global Sales Rankings
1. Toyota 9,366,000
2. GM 8,902,252
3. Volkswagen 6,191,618
4. Ford 5,964,000
5. Hyundai-Kia 3,961,629
6. Honda 3,831,000
7. Nissan 3,675,574
8. PSA/Peugeot 3,428,400
9. Chrysler 2,676,268
10. Fiat 2,620,864