Monday, April 03, 2006

Hyundai Presses Forward Globally--Strives for 2.7 Million in Sales in 2006

In 2005, Hyundai Motor Co. sold 570,000 cars in Korea and more than triple that number globally. 2006 target is total global sales of nearly 2.7 million vehicles.

Concerns of loss profits due to strong Won.
The carmaker plans to offset falling export profits due to the strengthened domestic currency by increasing overseas production. Having built and sold 636,000 cars worth $7.5 billion at its overseas plants last year, Hyundai Motor plans to churn out 922,000 vehicles worth $11 billion abroad this year.

Up market
The automaker also plans to change its compact car-based export structure by increasing sales of more expensive vehicles. As for the U.S. market, Hyundai plans to increase its share of midsize or larger cars from last year's 60 percent to 68 percent to beef up profits.

New Product
New models with more refined designs and improved technology will be added as well. In addition to the new Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle and the new Verna compact, which were launched in Korea last year, a successor to the Avante XD is slated to hit showrooms around the world this year. The new model, code-named HD, will replace the Avante here in May. Hyundai also plans to enter the minivan market[ the Entrourage] in the United States which accounts for 30 percent of the world's auto demand.

The U.S.
The company aims to increase its U.S. market share from 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent this year by selling 532,000 cars, up 17 percent from last year, as the Sonata and Azera are gaining popularity.

The carmaker said it sold 130,365 Sonata sedans in the world's largest auto market last year in addition to compacts Elantra (called Avante in Korea) and Accent (Verna), SUVs Santa Fe and Tucson, Tiburon sports coupe and Azera (Grandeur) sedan.

According to HMC, Hyundai Motor's assembly line in Alabama is scheduled to start rolling out the new Santa Fe this month.

Thinking Globally
As for the European market, Hyundai is targeting sales of 354,000 vehicles this year by concentrating on models strategically designed for the region such as the Getz (Click) compact and the Tucsan small SUV. The carmaker also plans to strengthen its product lineup by launching the new Santa Fe, Verna compact and diesel version of the Sonata midsize. The carmaker and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are using sports as a major marketing means in Europe as the 2006 World Cup in Germany nears.

In sales, Hyundai has become No.2 in India and No.3 in China.

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