As demand fell during the summer vacation period, Hyundai Motor Co. recorded its lowest sales in six months. However, it still did better than its smaller rivals after launching an upgraded car in South Korea.
August sales of Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motor Corp. increased by 17% from a year earlier but it dropped by 2.2% from July to 288,313 units, its lowest since February.
Soon after a new, upgraded Elantra compact was unveiled last month, local sales had climbed by 0.6%. In a statement, Hyundai said that competition in the domestic market “remains tough.”
Hyundai also said that to stimulate domestic sales, it will be upgrading aging models and boosting marketing. A 2.8% decrease in overseas sales was posted from July to 238,951 vehicles but it increased by 20% from a year ago, due to the increase in demand from China and the US.
Hyundai said that US sales rose by over 18%, partially due to the Sonata sedan, which is responsible for almost half of Hyundai's US sales this year and helped it widen its market share to a record 4.6% this year.
Last Tuesday, there was a report that US safety regulators have started a preliminary investigation into cases claiming steering problems in the Sonata, Hyundai's top seller in the US.