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Hyundai is set to capitalise on a China boost as sales of Japanese cars continue to wane.

Hyundai stand

Hyundai sales stand Image: Hyundai

South Korean’s’ Hyundai Motor Co reported a 26% year-on-year surge in vehicle sales to more than 86,700 units during April, due in part to shrinking sales at rival firms.

In contrast to Hyundai’s unprecedented rise, Toyota reported a seven percent decrease in vehicle sales; the ninth drop in 10 months.

Hyundai, and fellow South Korean affiliate Kia Motors Corp, sold a combined total of 1.3m cars in China last year, making them the third-biggest seller in China. Hyundai is aiming to boost annual sales by 13% to 970,000 units in 2013.

The company has also announced it is considering building a fourth plant in China by 2015-2016, increasing its manufacturing capacity by 300,000 vehicles. However, in the midst of a global slowdown, Hyundai’s group chairman Chung Mong-koo placed an effective ban on new factory development. Industry insiders are sceptical that the highly-disciplined chairman will lift the ban anytime soon.