Hyundai Motor Group wants to sell 1.47m in China this year and expand market share.

That would be up 10% from last year’s sales with local units Beijing Hyundai Motor selling 970,000 vehicles and Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor selling 500,000, joins,com reported.

China became Hyundai’s biggest market after 1.33m units were sold last year, up 14.2%, with Hyundai’s tally 856,000 and Kia’s 480,000. That out the group third after Volkswagen (2.6m) and General Motors 1.44m.

Hyundai’s Chinese sales accounted for nearly 20% of the company’s total sales last year, beating the United States (1.26m) and Korea (1.15m).

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) expects Chinese sales up 9.4% tis year to 16.57m, with the country remaining the worlds’ biggest market.

KITA said the US would likely post a modest 3.5% growth in car sales this year with 14.8m expected to be sold, down from the 11.9% rise in 2012.

Europe is expected to make a slight turnaround in 2013 to climb 0.2 percent on-year to 14.2m vehicles from a 7.2% slump in 2012, the association added.

Though passenger car sales in China were recently hit by limits by some Chinese cities to ease traffic congestion and cut pollution, Hyundai still sees growth.

“With expanding urbanisation in middle-western regions, demand will increase,” the company said. “In big cities, demand will increase in large car segments.”

However, competition in China will be fiercer than ever as other carmakers release new models.

Hyundai gained market share after Chinese consumers shunned Japanese cars after Tokyo claimed islands in the East China Sea that are also claimed by Beijing, sparking nationwide protests.

Hyundai Motor, which completed its third Chinese factory last year, said sales of a new Santa Fe would be important this year.

Kia will increase production to meet its sales target. Currently, the company’s two plants in China can produce 440,000 vehicles a year.