December 2010 sales for Hyundai and Kia in the U.S. were record-breaking and so are their sales for the entire year. The two affiliated brands posted higher sales mainly buoyed up by their new or redesigned vehicles. Hyundai’s Sonata continued to be strong while the sales of its Elantra compact, Tucson crossover and Genesis sedan grew further.
On the other hand, Kia’s Soul, Forte, Forte Koup, Sportage, Sorento and redesigned 2011 Optima made up 86% of Kia’s December sales volume.
Hyundai sold 538,228 vehicles in 2010, higher by 24% than in 2009, and 15.2% higher than its prior record of 467,009 vehicles set in 2007. Hyundai said that its holiday advertising campaign and improved product availability boosted sales to individual customers by 54% in December compared with 2009.
Meanwhile, sales to fleet customers such as rental car companies accounted for 7% of Hyundai’s December sales compared to 16% for the entire year. Kia does not reveal fleet sales figures.
In a statement, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said that December was the “capstone to a good year for Hyundai,” explaining that its total sales results understate the more significant gains it made at retail, where its market share added a full point.
John Krafcik, president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, remarked that Hyundai’s sales in December gave 2010 a strong finish – significant volume and important gains in retail sales, as well as a full percentage point increase in market share.
He disclosed that for 2010, Hyundai was able to sell 24-percent more vehicles overall. Its retail volume also grew 35 percent by 115,786 units, with 90,349 of which came from retail sales of the new 2011 Sonata. Krafcik noted that gains made by the Sonata marked the biggest retail sales hike of any car in the auto industry.
He also noted that the gains demonstrated how well customers were attracted by the Sonata’s 4-cylinder lineup and dynamic new design, as well as its crash worthiness as proven by its 5-star 2011 NHTSA crash test result that is first in the mid-size segment.
Krafcik remarked that for this year, Sonata should be able to increase its volume with wider availability of the Sonata Turbo and the arrival of the lithium-polymer battery-powered Sonata Hybrid this month. In December, Hyundai saw its Elantra, Sonata, and Tucson nameplates increase their sales volumes by 127 percent, 52 percent, and 348 percent, respectively.
Hyundai also sold 4,724 units if the new 2011 Elantra in the first full month of availability. Every variant of the 2011 Elantra is able to return 40 miles per gallon. The South Korean carmaker is aiming to become the sales leader of 40-mpg vehicles in 2011, after selling 4,916 units in 2010.