South Korea's two leading carmakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. said sales of eco-friendly vehicles shot up 2.5-fold in 2017, on strong consumer demand.
The companies, flagship affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, said sales of conventional hybrids, plug-ins, pure electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEVs) reached 141,681 units as of the end of July.
This is significantly higher than the 56,608 green cars they sold in the same seven-month period in 2016. The total is already 10 percent more than all environmentally friendly cars that Hyundai and Kia sold for the whole of last year, which stood at 128,975 units.
The carmakers said that at present pace they may be able to sell more than 200,000 green cars by the end of the year, which will set a new sales record.
At present, the two carmakers produce six conventional hybrids, three EVs, four plug-in hybrids and one FCEV.
Sales of hybrids, meanwhile, totaled 119,780 in the January-July period, up 2.45-fold compared to the year before. EV sales jumped 2.14 times to 13,220 units with plug-in and hydrogen cell car sales reaching 8,485 and 196, respectively, in the cited period.
Hyundai and Kia insiders said the spike in sales was brought on by the popularity of their newly released Ioniq and Niro models that are receiving positive feedback from consumers.
The carmakers then said demand for hybrids and other types of green cars was very strong abroad.
Sales of such cars this year alone exceeded the total sold for 2016 by 35 percent, the companies said, a clear indication of the demand for such vehicles. (Yonhap)