Joint venture Beijing Hyundai celebrated its 10th anniversary in China with record monthly sales, overtaking Japanese rivals whose sales slumped because of the dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

The Sino-Korean car maker reported September sales of 84,188 vehicles, well ahead of Toyota (44,100) and Honda (33,931) and only just behind Nissan whose sales slumped 34% to  88,249 units.

Add in the 43,639 sales of affiliate KIA and the Hyundai Motor group posted sales of 127,827, up 9.5% from its previous record of 127,827 recorded in September last year.

The company is now targeting General Motors’ position as the second best-selling company in the country behind Volkswagen , said Beijing Hyundai CEO Baek Hyo-heum. Hyundai-Kia is currently in third place.

“We can say we’ve settled into this market after 10 years but the record September sales partly came from the latest territorial dispute between China and Japan,” Baek said at a press conference.

“Rather than relying on such unexpected help, Beijing Hyundai will brace itself to take a pioneering role by moving into west China, targeting local consumers who are likely to change their cars after making their first purchases seven years ago,” Baek said.

Last year, Hyundai-Kia had combined sales of 1.17m units. VW sold 2.19m and GM 1.2m.