South Korea’s leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. has sold more than 500,000 vehicles this year in the USA.
It is the highest number of cars Hyundai has ever sold in a single year since tapping into the U.S. market in 1986, the company said, adding that it expects to sell 530,000 vehicles by end-year.
“Hyundai’s sales continue to climb as more consumers become aware of our excellent products, high quality, the industry’s best warranty, and improving dealership experience,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president at Hyundai Motor America.
A slew of new models, such as the all-new Tucson and Sonata, were also attributed for the increased market share, he said.
Hyundai’s Sonata sedan was the company’s most popular model in 2010, selling 183,295 units, up 50 percent from a year earlier, according to Hyundai.
Sales of the Tucson, a sport utility vehicle, reached 36,333 units, up 135 percent on-year, it said.
Hyundai said it plans to expand its vehicle lineup by including more luxury sedans and eco-friendly cars in order to keep up its strong performance in the U.S. market.
It will also launch the Equus and Sonata Hybrid cars in the U.S. next year, the company said.
Meanwhile, Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sales in China are expected to surpass a combined 1 million units this year.
Hyundai Motor said its January-November sales in China reached 637,686 units, a 23.5 percent increase from the same period last year.
Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sold 301,358 vehicles in the same period, up 44.6 percent from a year earlier.
The combined number of the automobiles sold by Hyundai and Kia in China during the 11-month period totaled 939,044 units.
The two companies are the only Korean auto manufacturers that produce and sell within China.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Thursday, Korea held 7.54 percent of the Chinese auto market share during the January-November period, ranking fourth after China, Japan and the United States.
Hyundai and Kia have been aggressively pushing into China as the country has become the world’s largest automobile market.
The two companies sold more than 800,000 cars in China last year. They are seeking to sell more than 1.1 million vehicles there in 2011.
Auto sales in China exceeded 16 million units from January to November as demand in the world’s most populous market continues to grow, the association said.
The figure represents a 34.05 percent surge from the number of units sold during the same period last year.
The figure marks the second year that the number of vehicles sold in China has surpassed that of the United States, which logged
10.4 million in sales during the January-November period.
Last year, China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s largest automobile market. Auto sales in the U.S. totaled 10.4 million in 2009.
In November of this year, 1.697 million units were sold, up 26.86 percent from a year earlier.
The association said it expects the total number of cars sold to reach 18 million by the end of December.
Sales for the next year will likely be around 20 million units, according to an estimate by the industry group.
During the last 11 months, local Chinese manufacturers held 45.43 percent of the market share, selling 5.65 million vehicles, followed by Japanese manufacturers with 2.43 million, or 19.51 percent, and German firms with 1.80 million units, or 4.51 percent.
The U.S. and France sold 1.28 million units (10.33 percent) and 333,400 units (2.68 percent), respectively.
China’s auto exports soared 68.53 percent to 483,300 units during the same period from a year earlier. (Yonhap News)