The Korea Automotive Research Institute announced on March 8 that the Hyundai Motor Group ranked fourth in global green car sales last year by making use of the popularity of Sonata Hybrid and Soul EV.
Last year, the group sold 64,383 hybrid cars, 8,651 electric vehicles, 306 plug-in hybrid cars and 252 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to hit a new high in terms of green car sales and increase its green car sales volume by 4.9% from a year ago. In particular, the sales volume of its EVs skyrocketed 427.8% year on year, led by the Soul EV put on the market in May 2014.
Toyota topped the list by selling 1.082 million green cars. Still, its volume decreased 8.6% from a year earlier. It was followed by Honda, whose green car sales volume dropped 15.4% from approximately 273,000 to 231,000 units between 2014 and 2015. Renault Nissan ranked third with a volume of 81,000 units or so, down 14.2% from the previous year. Ford fell from fourth to fifth with its green car sales volume showing a decline of 21.5% to 68,000 units. According to industry experts, the less-than-expected performances of Toyota, Honda and Ford can be attributed to their high reliance on hybrid cars with consumers being increasingly interested in EVs and the other types of green cars.
In 2015, the global green car sales volume edged up by 2.1% to 1.992 million units. This was because low oil prices and the aging of the most popular models such as the Toyota Prius. The decline in the sales of hybrid cars was particularly conspicuous, from 1.655 million to 1.463 million to be specific, and the figure decreased for the first time in four years.
On the contrary, the EV and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales volumes rose by 73% and 88%, respectively. This was because of the policy support in China and Europe and the release of new models, which allowed the ratio of these types of cars to the entire green cars to rise to 27%. This year, the global green car market is expected to post a growth of 17.8% with the size of the market estimated at 2.346 million units.