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South Korea 1996: Hyundai Sonata and Avante fight for #1 in record market

The Hyundai Avante is only 3.600 sales off a first annual win in 1996.

After a pause in 1995, new car sales in South Korea resume their crazed progression in 1996 at +5.9% to 1.584.129 units, a new record. Hyundai (+1.1%) slips back below 50% share at 48.7%, Kia (+3.8%) edges down to 29.1% but Daewoo (+16.7%) is up to 18.3% and Ssangyong (+56%) to 3.2%.

The Kia Credos and Daewoo Tico eclipse the 100.000 annual sales milestone.

Model-wise, the Hyundai Sonata (+0.5%) celebrates three consecutive years as the best-seller at home, but this time the new Hyundai Avante (+21.9%) is only 3.600 units below for only its second appearance in the South Korean charts. The Avante, launched in 1995, shocked with its overly rounded design and would set the tone for all the Hyundais of this generation. Outstanding results for the Daewoo Tico (+134.4%), Kia Credos (+118.7%) and Hyundai Accent (+7.5%) rounding out the Top 5 and all cracking the 100.000 annual sales barrier for the first time. The remainder of the Top 10 is in decline, and at #18 the most successful new launch is the Hyundai Santamo, a rebadged Mitsubishi Space Wagon.

Full Year 1996 Top 22 All-brands and Top 70 models vs. Full Year 1995 figures below.

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