Korean Automakers See Signs of Recovery in U.S.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia achieved record sales in the U.S. from January to June.

Hyundai sold 364,434 cars there during the first half of this year, while Kia sold 297,413 due to a positive market reception of their latest models.

Kia's new Soul compact hit the U.S. market in October and Hyundai unveiled the new Sonata midsize sedan and Genesis large sedan there in May and June.

◆ New Models Shine

With the release of new models, Hyundai and Kia hope to see customers open their wallets, reversing sluggish sales there.

Hyundai and Kia rolled out three new models -- Sonata, Genesis and Soul -- with some modifications to woo American buyers. The Soul's boxy shape has captured more fans in the U.S. than in Korea.

Kia sold 75,000 Soul vehicles during the first half of this year alone, up 19 percent on-year. Hyundai sold more than 25,000 new Sonatas over the same period.


◆ Competition Heats Up

Demand for automobiles in the U.S. rose 4.3 percent during the first half of this year, but competition is intensifying. Due to the weak yen, Japanese automakers have been slashing car prices in the U.S.

Nissan overtook Hyundai during the first half of this year with sales rising around 13 percent compared to last year.

Toyota will release a new Camry midsize sedan this fall.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 03, 2014 10:48 KST