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US auto sales

Hyundai Motor, Kia post strong US sales on SUV, Genesis

By Feb 03, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor, Kia post strong US sales on SUV, Genesis

Hyundai Motor Co. and sister firm Kia Corp. posted strong January sales in the US, where the South Korean companies are working to refine their profile as makers of premium models.

The two automaking units of Hyundai Motor Group sold a combined 91,173 vehicles last month in the American market, up 7.9% from 84,498 units in the year-earlier period, according to the companies on Feb. 3.

Hyundai's auto sales rose 4.7% on the year to 46,208 units, while Kia's sales jumped 11.4% to 44,965 cars, marking its best-ever January figure.

"After outpacing the industry in 2020, Kia's upward trajectory and positive momentum continued with record-breaking January sales," said Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia’s American operations.

The two Korean automakers outperformed their foreign rivals in the US market.

Toyota Motor Corp. posted a mere 0.2% on-year gain with sales of 166,000 vehicles in January, while Honda Motor Co.’s sales fell 9.2% to 92,000 units.

Strong sales of Hyundai and Kia were driven by sport utility vehicles such as the Palisade and Telluride. They sold a combined 59,950 SUVs in January, accounting for two-thirds of their total US auto sales.

Hyundai’s SUV sales rose 17.9% on year to 30,478 vehicles, while Kia’s SUV sales climbed 21.2% to 29,472 units.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

PREMIUM BRAND GENESIS SCORES BIG

Hyundai’s pricier luxury brands such as the Genesis G80 sedan and GV80 SUV model helped the automaker gain ground in the American premium car market.

Hyundai’s Genesis sales doubled to 2,814 units in January, driven by the GV80, which was launched in late 2020.

According to J.D. Power’s initial quality study (IQS), the Genesis has ranked the highest in the US premium brand segment for four straight years since 2017. In 2020, the Genesis replaced Japan’s Lexus as the No. 1 car in J.D. Power’s vehicle dependability study (VDS), which looks at durability and issues raised by car owners.

In the US, the Genesis GV80 sells at a price tag between $48,900 and $65,050, with some high-end models priced at $71,350.

Hyundai Motor, Kia post strong US sales on SUV, Genesis

Hyundai Motor Group aims to sell a total of 1.36 million Hyundai and Kia cars in the American market this year on the back of strong SUV sales, up 11% from the previous year.

"We are off to a strong start to the year and remain optimistic for continued sales and market share gains in 2021," said Randy Parker, senior sales vice president of Hyundai Motor America.

Write to Sun A Lee at suna@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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