Hyundai gets home field lift, falls a bit globally

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Hyundai gets home field lift, falls a bit globally

Hyundai Motor, which has recently struggled in sales both domestically and in global markets, saw some improvement in Korea in June, but said its exports continued to fall.

The nation’s leading automaker said Wednesday it had sold 408,026 cars in June; 62,802 units in Korea and 345,224 overseas. The domestic figure was up 4.8 percent from a year ago but the global sales figure dropped by 2.2 percent during the same time.

The best-selling car for the company in the domestic market was its mid-size Sonata LF sedan with 9,604 units sold including 1,255 hybrids, followed by the Santa Fe SUV (9,073 units), Grandeur sedan (7,105 units), the small sedan Avante (7,023 units), the compact SUV Tucson (4,929 units) and the premium sedan Genesis (3,160 units).

“New models like the Santa Fe and the interest-free installment programs on core models boosted sales in this country,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement. “We expect to increase domestic sales because we will introduce new models in the second half, including the Sonata plug-in hybrid.”

Global sales continued to decline as the world economy continued to face headwinds.

“Slumping economies in the newly industrialized nations, unstable foreign exchange rates and tough competition in the global market were the biggest reasons for the struggle,” said Hyundai. “We will try to provide a new growth engine by strengthening our overall market competitiveness.”

Total sales through June for the company were 2.41 million cars, a 3.2 percent drop from a year earlier.

One bright spot in overseas markets came from China. The company said its joint-venture Beijing Hyundai was ranked No. 1 in J.D. Powers’ sales satisfaction index in China for the second consecutive year, scoring 812 points out of 1,000 among 71 global automakers. The score was the highest ever since the survey started in 2000, and was also much higher than this year’s average score for all automakers at 682 points, the company said. Hyundai’s sister company Kia Motors was ranked fifth in the survey, which reflected the opinion of more than 15,000 Chinese consumers who bought a car from July last year to February.

Hyundai has been struggling in China, the world’s second-largest car market, but it aims to increase its sales with new Tucson SUV that the company designed for that market alone. Also in the second half, the company will introduce a new China-specific Sonata LF with a front mesh grille.


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