Hyundai-Kia managed to nearly offset a 6-percent drop in retail sales in 2013 by relying heavily on fleet sales. The South Korean carmakers posted a 45-percent surge in fleet volume for both December and full year 2013. The carmakers suffered a combined decline of 4,644 units – Hyundai jumped 3 percent while Kia fell 4 percent.
While Hyundai-Kia leaned more fleet sales, their counterparts in the US -- General Motors, Chrysler Group and Toyota Motor Sales – cut their reliance on vehicles sold to commercial, governmental and daily rental fleet operators. GM, Chrysler and Toyota also focused more on retail sales, with gains ranging from 9 percent to 14 percent.
Ford Motor Co. and Nissan North America both hiked their 2013 retail sales by more than twice as much as fleet sales. Ford logged a 13-percent climb in full-year retail sales and a 5-percent jump in fleet sales. Nissan meanwhile saw a 10-percent surge in retail sales and 4-percent gain in fleet, sales.
Automotive News Data Center estimates fleet sales at America Honda as a flat 2 percent of its total volume. Fleet volume in December 2013 dropped a percent to 181,200 light vehicles for the seven largest carmakers. For the full year, the top seven carmakers logged a 2-percent jump in fleet sales to 2.4 million units.