Even with the arrival of the new Hyundai Genesis Sedan (above) and the expected introduction of at least two other new vehicles in 2014, Hyundai-Kia is estimating its sales will only increase by about 4.1 percent this year. Bloomberg has found that figure, which works out to a total of 7.86 million vehicles worldwide, to be lower than average analyst estimates of eight million vehicles. If the automaker is correct, that figure will represent the most sluggish growth for the Korean brands since 2006.

Based on an exchange rate of 1,050 won to the dollar – right now it's trading at anywhere from 1,050 to 1,052 depending on where you look – Hyundai is predicting a 3.8-percent uptick for sales of 4.9 million units, while Kia is expecting a 4.7-percent uptick for sales of 2.96 million units. That exchange rate is predicted to be part of what will hamper sales this year, with a stronger South Korean won making Japanese cars more price-competitive when cross-shopped. It's unclear how Hyundai derived its exchange rate, but 1,050 won to the dollar almost matches the 52-week high for all of 2013.

The company chairman mentioned a "low growth era" in the world economy, and weaker US sales are rumored to at least part of the reason John Krafcik recently vacated the post of Hyundai Motor America CEO, a post that has been filled by executive vice president of sales, David Zuchowski. That unexpected news capped a year in which two top execs resigned over quality issues and recalls and Hyundai agreed to settle a consolidated lawsuit over inflated fuel economy ratings for $395 million.

Things are going better in China, at least, where both brands have posted double-digit gains. In addition to the expected unveiling of the next-generation Hyundai Sonata and Kia Sorento, the company will increase its spending on safety and technology. And at least one analyst still believes that Hyundai-Kia will achieve eight million sales worldwide this year.


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  • 27 Comments
      DRO3000
      • 11 Months Ago
      maybe because people are beginning to realize they've been putting lipstick on pigs for the last 8 years
        1STH
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DRO3000
        Cadillac and Lexus have been putting lipstick on pigs for years and convincing dumb people to buy them----it seems that is a strategy which is easy to fool people with.
        S40Powered
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DRO3000
        Exactly.
      FIDTRO
      • 11 Months Ago
      Maybe people are finally starting to catch on.
      bK
      • 11 Months Ago
      The more I look at it, this car looks like a mash up of all the popular cars out today.
        Spartan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @bK
        Yeah, with that whole doors, hood, trunk, headlight thing going on. It just looks like so many cars on the road today. /s
        M5_4_life
        • 11 Months Ago
        @bK
        It may look that way but everyone copies everyone, get over it.
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      Kia Hyundai had the jump on the big makers a few years ago but now Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda are all releasing or just have released their new models. Many of which are just as or more aggressive than efforts by KIA/Hyundai. Not to mention most of the makers mentioned above enjoy a loyal customer base and better reputation.
        Justin
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        I don't know why you have so many down votes, you make a good point. Hyundai now has the oldest lineup on sale. Their product blitz in 2009-10 was massively successful and I credit Hyundai with helping to force the other makes to try harder (did cars really change at all from the late 90's to the late 2000's??). Now everyone else has fresh new models, reliability gaps hardly exist among most makers, and thanks to the wonders of currency the Japanese can discount more while the Koreans are forced to cut back. The positive is that Hyundai/Kia are capacity strained anyway so they couldn't grow a whole lot more, and in a year or two their new product will be hitting dealers just when everyone else's is starting to look old.
        Scooter
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        Lol. People get mad when I diss Hyundai/KIA although I really wasnt.Its true that they released their new generations which were aggressively styled at a time when compared the major brands which were still developing or prepping their new models. So cars like optima and sonata had a head start on the new Accord and Camry. So its not surprising they enjoyed an explosive sales growth, especially coming off of years of bland lower quality vehicles.
        Timon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        It has down votes because there is a glitch, I pressed thumbs up but it like subtracted 5 or more.
      Koenigsegg
      • 11 Months Ago
      ya because they've always made crap cars and now their jocking every other car lol
      miketim1
      • 11 Months Ago
      I think it has something to do with the kind of cars they are making and the crowd they are going for
        LW
        • 11 Months Ago
        @miketim1
        they offer 10 yr warranty, their customer base are the kind of people that will drive it for 10 years, and after that, until its wheels fall off.
      M5_4_life
      • 11 Months Ago
      See, with a different logo, this car looks upscale and sophisticated, I think Hyundai's upscale cars should adopt this logo/emblem and leave the traditional Hyundai one for the Sonatas and smaller. I am a BMW guy but I wouldn't mind cross-shopping this car. Kudos Hyundai!
      Ben Lee
      • 11 Months Ago
      that grill on the Genesis looks like the center stack on the new Maserati Ghibli
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Ben Lee
        [blocked]
      express2day
      • 11 Months Ago
      As the economy starts to improve, I think some will move away from the "value" brands like Hyundai and KIA.
        bK
        • 11 Months Ago
        @express2day
        thats exactly what they project.
      Dryloch
      • 11 Months Ago
      I have had two late model Kia Optimas in a row. The latest is a 2013 Hybrid. They made the 2014 look worse with the minor redesign. With the 2015 Sonata being shown in April, I am hopeful that an all new 2015 Optima will be shown as well. If it somehow looks worse then even the 2014 I will probably get a Mazda 6 next time.
      Eta Carinae
      • 11 Months Ago
      I dont see this as bad thing......8 years of growth is wonderful they should have known sales where going to plateau at one point......could it be because the confusion of consumer if hyundai/kia is mass market or luxury ? Also they should expect sales of new genesis to climb much since a price hike is within the foreseeable future.......
      Cruising
      • 11 Months Ago
      Once again it starts with the management at the top. The successful companies are always the ones with the hands on type executives not the detached guys that sit jolly in the office.
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