Hyundai Motor posted a 3.4-percent year-on-year jump in worldwide sales in September 2012 to 371,743 vehicles. Hyundai’s rebound was attributed to the termination of the strike actions at its South Korean factories as well as to the boosts to U.S. and China output. Hyundai’s sales figures in September, which were at their highest since June, could provide some reassurance that the South Korean carmaker has placed its costliest strike ever behind it.
Despite that, analysts are concerned about the impact of the strikes on the carmaker’s third-quarter earnings, the results of which will be released late this month. According to Suh Sung-moon, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities, Hyundai’s results for September fell short of expectations as domestic sales remained sluggish despite the end of strikes and the start of discount programs.
The strikes at the carmaker have partly caused sales to fall 4.6 percent year-on-year in August, marking Hyundai’s first monthly sales decline in over three years. Hyundai’s South Korean plants account for producing around half of the carmaker vehicles sold globally. The strikes at the plant prevented the carmaker from building 82,088 cars worth around $1.5 billion.
Although Hyundai did not provide a regional breakdown of its sales, analysts believe the carmaker logged solid sales in China at a time when its Japanese rivals are besieged by problems related to territorial dispute between two of the largest economies in Asia.
Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. reported Thursday that its sales in China dropped 35-percent year-on-year in September 2012. While some Japanese carmakers are slashing their production in China, Hyundai increased its output capacity in the country in June 2012.
In its Los Angeles Auto Show in 2009, Hyundai launched its latest 2011 Hyundai Sonata which marks its first appearance in North America, introducing to the US market the brand’s “Fluidic Sculpture” concept and its lineup of all four-cylinder engines.
Following the steps of the new Hyundai Tucson, the Sonata is the next vehicle in the brand’s 24/7 version 2.0 initiative which is set to produce seven new models for the succeeding 24 months. Sonata’s production is laid to commence in December 2009 in Alabama and is expected to be out in the market come January 2010.
With its poignant design, luxury features and advance four-cylinder engines combined with Hyundai’s signature strong value proposition, the 2011 Sonata embodies a modern feel to the classic midsize sedan segment.
FLUIDIC SCULPTURE CONCEPT
The Hyundai design team is set to work on the Fluidic Sculpture for about three and a half years starting with the 2010 Tucson and 2011 Sonata projects. This new technology features a constant and unified concept that ripples through the whole Hyundai Showroom.
They considered as well the chemistry of natural and fluid elements combined with much stiffer surfaces and structures in order to create an illusion of constant motion. This Fluidic Sculpture which is inspired by nature adds classiness and defines dynamic angles to the car’s shape and is now considered as the heart of the brand’s future design identity.