Hyundai Motor Co. predicts that it will be able to set a company record for annual US sales this week. And as the auto industry is continuing to grow steadily, it anticipates that sales will go up further in 2011.
According to Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik, US auto industry sales are predicted to increase to 12.3 million vehicles in 2011, compared to about 11.3 million this year.
This rise can be attributed nearly totally from sales to retail customers. At a Hyundai facility near Ypsilanti, Mich., Krafcik said that he doesn’t expect fleet sales to keep the industry up next year.
He estimates that the increase in 2011 would result to a 10% increase in retail sales for the industry. It will be difficult to hit this mark, especially with retail sales closely tied to housing starts and home equity in the US that are still uncertain due to high unemployment.
To boost sales, Hyundai has been introducing new versions of its vehicles, including a Sonata sedan. It predicts that sales will exceed 500,000 units in the US by mid-December and it expects to end 2010 with a 4.8% market share.
Krafcik declined to give a figure for the 2011 sales goal but he affirmed that it would be higher. However, due to company production capacity limits, he believes that it would be difficult to widen US market share. [via autonews - sub. required]