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Automobiles

Hyundai, Kia US sales slower despite strong growth

Hyundai Motor Group July US sales rise 29.1% on-year; Hyundai up 25%, Kia up 33.6%

By Aug 04, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai's premium Genesis US sale hit record in July with strong sales of the Genesis GV 70.
Hyundai's premium Genesis US sale hit record in July with strong sales of the Genesis GV 70.

Hyundai Motor Group reported a near 30% rise in US sales last month, but the growth is decelerating as the world’s second-largest automobile market has peaked out and production declined amid the global automotive chip shortage.

Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister Kia Corp., South Korea’s two largest automaker, said on Aug. 4 that they sold a combined 143,779 units in the United States in July, up 29.1% from a year earlier. Their sales surged 127.1% in April and the increase has been declining to 66.1% in May and 45.8% in June.

“Overall car sales are booming for the time being, but we see the US market has peaked out,” said Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun on Aug. 1.

A US research firm J.D. Power recently revised its forecast for this year’s car sales in the country down to 1.47-1.5 million units from 1.7 million. The new forecast was slightly more than 1.45 million sold last year when the COVID-19 hurt demand.

US used car prices slid for a second straight month. The Manheim Used Vehicle Index hit a record high of 203 in May and fell to 200.4 in June and 196.9 in July.

GENESIS BOOSTS

Hyundai Motor sold 73,680 units in July, up 25% on-year. The Elantra compact car was the most popular model with 13,085 units sold, followed by sport utility vehicles (SUVs) models – the Santa Fe and the Tucson.

Sales of Hyundai Motor’s premium Genesis surged 312.1% to an all-time high of 5,180 units in July with the Genesis GV70 sold 1,568 units. The compact SUV was launched in the US in May.

Kia’s sales rose 33.6% to 70,099 units. The Forte compact sedan led the growth with 12,423 units sold. The Carnival multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) posted a monthly record sale of 3,782 units, more than triple of an average of around 1,000 units last year, as its new version attracted more customers.

“Kia sold more than 74% of our available inventory in July as compared to 34% during the same period last year, a solid reflection of the strong consumer interest in the brand,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America in a statement.

Hyundai and Kia’s combined sales in July outperformed Honda Motor Co. which sold 135,542 units, while falling short of Toyota Motor Corp.’s 225,022 units. Hyundai Motor Group’s US market shares were estimated to have risen 2.1 percentage points to 11.1% from a year earlier, according to analysts.

The group plans to launch Hyundai’s all-electric IONIQ5 and sell more SUVs in the second half to raise profitability in the US where sales growth is slowing.

Write to Hyung-Kyu Kim and Il-Gue Kim at khk@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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