Hyundai’s US market share goal hindered by lack of mini-CUV offering

Article by Anita Panait, on January 17, 2014

Hyundai Motor Co.’s seemingly lack of offerings in the mini-crossover utility vehicle (CUV) market in the United States could backfire on the company’s goal of gaining a significant share in the country. Rival carmakers are already pushing for such vehicles in the US, where demand has been rising. General Motors Co. is expecting sales of its own Buick Encore subcompact CUV and other mini SUV-like vehicles by carmakers – both volume and luxury brands -- to reach 400,000 vehicles annually in 2018.

Roger McCormack, US marketing director for Buick, believes demand from empty nesters who are downsizing and city youth will boost sales of mini CUVs. "I am really excited about the potential," McCormack told Reuters in an interview at the Detroit auto show.

"The idea is ... I can get that functionality (of crossovers) but I don't need to do it in a bigger vehicle necessarily.” He remarked that mini CUVs fit a lot of people's lifestyles “very nicely."

Despite that, South Korean carmaker won't likely have anything to offer to take advantage of the demand in the near future, according to four individuals privy with Hyundai’s global product plans.

One of the sources said that it’s not that Hyundai isn't searching for a solution; rather, that there is "no answer so far." A Hyundai executive said at the 2014 Detroit auto show that the carmaker’s US market share will likely grow to 4.7 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2013. [source: Reuters]

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