Korea goes green

Hyundai and Kia overtook Ford to become the world’s fourth largest manufacturer in terms of eco-friendly cars last year.

Kia's Soul EV

Kia’s Soul EV

According to figures released overnight by the Korea Automotive Research Institute, the combined sales of the Korean automakers reached over 74,000 units last year, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier.

The report noted that In particular, the hybrid version of Hyundai’s Sonata midsize sedan led the brisk sales, and that Kia had also sold around 9,000 units of its Soul EV since its launch in May 2014, a more than four-fold increase over the previous year.

Toyota topped the market, selling more than 1.08 million eco-friendly cars. Honda came in second with 273,000 cars, followed by Renault-Nissan with 231,000 cars. Ford saw its sales volume dip by 21.5 percent to 68,000 cars and fell to fifth place.

Total global sales of green cars stood at 1.99 million last year, up 2.1 percent on-year.