The freshly revamped Sonata by Hyundai Motor was named the best sedan at a motor show held in Saudi Arabia last week, raising prospects for its sales performance in the Middle East.
In a vote by a group of auto journalists in the country Sonata won high scores in overall categories that examined the sedan’s design, safety technology and entertainment features, the company said.
The result came amid the carmaker expanding its presence in the region’s largest auto market of 400,000-500,000 a year. The Korean carmaker sold a total 77,332 vehicles in Saudi Arabia, trailing Toyota, which topped the list of foreign carmakers by selling 137,795 vehicles last year.
Hyundai has been narrowing the gap, selling 100,845 as of October, 62 percent increased from last year. The company sold 4,267 of the all-new Sonata in the three months since it launched the sedan in September in the Middle East country. Sonata, when adding the number of previous models sold in the country, places second in the sedan category there.
The Middle East market has been recovering from geopolitical insecurities and an economic recession, showing a 27 percent increase in market demand on the auto sector as of October, according to Hyundai.