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Hyundai moves up sales chart

Thanks to the classy i30 and the dollar-driven Getz, Hyundai has taken third place on the sales chart for February.

The Korean brand was third for the month in showrooms, only beaten by Toyota and GM Holden.

Once again it was the combination of the classy i30 compact and the dollar-driven Getz that did the job for Hyundai, which is now fast-tracking a challenge on Mazda and Ford in Australia. It is only fifth in the year-to-date sales figures but gaining ground rapidly. There was no champagne or celebration at Hyundai headquarters in Sydney, just a commitment to growth and more new models through 2010.

"We're keeping our heads down and keeping working. That was last month," Hyundai spokesman, Ben Hershman, said yesterday. "We've just launched the ix35 SUV and there seems to be good interest, and we're also looking forward to the arrival of the (baby) i20 this year."

Hyundai only beat the home-grown Falcon brand by 60 sales in February, but the result is still a reflection of Hyundai's growing power and the vulnerability of Ford. The local results are a contrast to the USA, where Ford went to number one in February as Toyota and General Motors both struggled. Sales of Fords lifted by 43 per cent during the month as Toyota, reeling from its crash-and-recall fiasco, reported an 8.7 drop.

"We sold everything we had so there is not much else we could do," Ford spokesperson, Sinead McAlary, said yesterday. "We've worked a couple of overtime days at Broadmeadows and we are trying to get more vehicles. The harder issue for us is imported vehicles. "We had a record with Fiesta in February but we have had trouble getting the right models in the right numbers. We're working on what we need to do to get vehicles to match demand."

1.  Toyota 16,814
2.  Holden 11,213
3.  Hyundai 7208
4.  Ford 7148
5.  Mazda 7003
6.  Mitsubishi 5026
7.  Nissan 4596
8.  Subaru 3278
9.  Honda 3102
10. Volkswagen 2998