For second year, Sonata is nation’s top vehicle

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Hyundai Motor’s Sonata sedan will probably be the best-selling car of the year in the domestic market, clinching the No. 1 position for the second consecutive year.

According to data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) on Tuesday, a total of 95,760 units of the midsize sedan were sold from January to November, beating out the 1-ton Porter truck (91,327) and the small Avante sedan (86,968), both of which are from Hyundai Motor. The KAMA added that the possibility of either of the runners-up catching up with the Sonata is nearly zero considering monthly average sales.

“The Sonata will be the best-selling car for two years in a row, thanks to the new Sonata LF,” a Hyundai spokesman said.

The Sonata has been popular with Koreans for a long time. It was the best-selling car from 1999 to 2010, but it yielded the No. 1 position to the Avante from 2011 to 2013 before reclaiming the crown last year with 108,014 units sold.

One of the reasons Sonata sales improved was an expanded lineup. The Sonata was previously offered with four different powertrain types, but Hyundai expanded the lineup to seven this year by adding a turbo, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and diesel model.

Hyundai Motor and its sister company, Kia Motors, continued to dominate the local auto market among Korean carmakers since nine of the 10 models were made by the two, while GM Korea clinched 10th.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]