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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai Motor Group has overtaken Toyota Motor Corp. as the highest selling Asian carmaker in Europe.

Combined, Hyundai and Kia have sold 521,369 vehicles throughout Europe in the first 10 months of 2010, while Toyota and Lexus sales have reached just 511,754.

In an overall European market that has declined five percent this year to 11.6 million vehicles, Hyundai-Kia’s four percent growth is an impressive achievement, no doubt helped along by Toyota’s massive recall earlier in the year.

Toyota-Lexus has plummeted 17 percent compared with the January-October period of 2009.

Sales of the Hyundai i30, ix35 and Kia Cee’d have been particularly strong, thanks to their European styling, and analysts expect the Koreans’ popularity to grow as they continue to roll out revised ranges, some designed specifically to appeal to European customers.

Toyota Motor Corp. still holds a commanding lead over Hyundai Motor Group in Australia, although a strong 2010 has seen the Korean beginning to closing the gap.

Toyota-Lexus have sold 178,922 vehicles in Australia in the first 10 months of the year, compared with 88,803 between Hyundai and Kia.

Hyundai and Kia sales are both up around 25 percent over 2009, while Toyota and Lexus sales have both risen around eight percent.




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