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 2
Automotive News reports both Hyundai and Kia have stepped up fleet sales in an attempt to offset disappointing first quarter results. The Korean automakers saw their sales decline by nine percent compared to last year, while all major competitors managed to increase their sales. That situation marks an inversion of two years ago, when both gained ground after Japanese rivals suffered production and inventory shortages after the country's earthquake and tsunami tragedies.
In spite of a ridiculous 247WallStreet.com article that simply will not die, Kia appears to be doing anything but going out of business. Hyundai's "weakest brand," as it was called, just posted a 66 percent increase in profit for Q3. Kia's home market sales, in South Korea, rose by 25 percent, while international sales were only a shade off, increasing by 24 percent – in the U.S. specifically, sales were up eight percent.
As Hyundai continues to pull itself up by its bootstraps, the company is moving decisively and picking up share around the globe. However, one key market continues to be so problematic for the brand that they've decided to abandon it altogether: Japan. Rather than dodder around and wait for its disappointing performance to improve, Hyundai is tying off the bleeder that is the company's Japanese market presence. The cars themselves, either under Hyundai badging or as Kias, have become contenders
Fans of wagon-like small minivans (yes, me and you other two), should keep your eyes peeled for Kia's new Rondo. There are apparently quite a few more on U.S. roads than there were last year. Three more actually. Which brings the total number ever sold in the U.S. to, uh, three.