Hyundai's U.S. Sales Rise, But Market Share Drops

Hyundai and affiliate Kia saw U.S. sales in November rise 9 percent over the same month last year, according to data released on Tuesday.

Their combined sales for November rose around two percentage points compared to October, apparently unharmed by the recent false advertising scandal surrounding fuel efficiency. But Hyundai and Kia’s U.S. market share dropped slightly as their main rivals posted double-digit sales increases over the same period.

Hyundai sold 53,487 new cars in the U.S. last month, the most for November since the carmaker moved into the U.S. market and up 8 percent on-year.

Sales of key models like the Avante compact (sold as the Elantra in the U.S.), which was subject to revised fuel efficiency ratings following a probe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Santa Fe SUV and Sonata mid-sized sedan increased in November compared to the previous month.

A Hyundai study showed that only 10 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of the false advertising scandal.

Kia sold 41,055 cars over the same period in the U.S., up 10.9 percent on- year. The Sorento and Sportage SUVs were especially popular. The compact box car Soul, whose fuel efficiency had been exaggerated to the tune of 6 miles per gallon, saw the poorest sales.

The average sales in November by the 20 car brands competing in the U.S. rose 15 percent. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and other Japanese carmakers saw sales rise between 10 and 30 percent. Volkswagen's sales surged 31 percent, while BMW posted a 39-percent rise.

Hyundai and Kia's combined share of the U.S. market now stands at 8.3 percent, the lowest so far this year, and their overall rank dropped from sixth to seventh.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 05, 2012 12:59 KST