Ordinarily, fourth place doesn’t mean a whole lot. There are no medals conferred and there are no wreaths put around your neck. But in the world of automobiles, being the fourth largest automaker in the world speaks much more than any medal or wreath can give.

That’s where Hyundai Motor Company finds itself after the South Korean-based automaker catapulted past Ford as the fourth largest carmaker in the world for the first half of 2009. According to figures released by the Automotive News Data Centre, Hyundai’s 2,153,000 vehicles sold are 8,000 more than the US auto giant. The numbers come as a bit of a shock to a lot of people considering that only a year ago, Ford outnumbered Hyundai’s sales by well over 1 million units.

But then again, several factors led to Hyundai’s surprising jump, not the least of which was the company’s decision to allocate factories in strategic locations around the world, enabling the company to produce cars solely for the local clientele.

Continued after the jump.

Despite the jump in rankings, the numbers can still be a little misleading. After all, the current financial crisis hasn’t spared a single automaker from the grim reality of plummeting sales. Toyota, despite retaining its first place ranking, sold 26% less vehicles compared to last year. The same goes with GM (2nd place), which saw its sales drop by 21% and third placer Volkswagen, which managed to lose only 5.1% of its numbers compared to last year.

Nevertheless, word that it jumped to 4th place is fantastic news for the folks at Hyundai, especially if you consider that the company was in 11th place at the start of the millennium.

Source: US News

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AK47  (1024) posted on 08.14.2009

I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyundai got ahead of VW and came third. Funny, I thought Honda would be mentioned here.

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