South Korean automakers will highly likely reach their annual sales targets this year. In the Korean car market, sales have been recovering in the second half due to the effects of a cut in the individual consumption tax. Exports have been also improving thanks to the effects of new models despite barriers such as hefty tariffs.
A recovery in exports to overseas automobile markets such as China and the U.S. holds the key. Yet automakers have much anticipation for reaching their sales targets as they conservatively set their targets in consideration of the uncertain business environment and are stepping up efforts for the promotion sales in overseas markets.
According to the automobile industry on September 12, Hyundai and Kia's global sales this year grew 3.9 percent from the same period last year, totaling 4.81 million units at the end of August. They have attained 64% of this year’s sales target of 7.55 million units. Their monthly average is more than 600,000 units. The two automakers expect to sell over 2.4 million units over the remaining four months. In this case, their total sales will amount to 7.2 million units, which will be 350,000 units less than their targets.
However, sales of flagship models such as the Santa Fe, the Grandeur and the K3 are on the uptick in emerging markets and major markets such as the U.S. Sales of the Genesis are also expected to rise.
Hyundai sold 56,929 units in the U.S. market last month, up 6% from a year earlier thanks to strong sales of the Santa Fe and the Tucson. In China, its market share rose by 0.4 percentage points to 3.6 percent as 63,066 units were sold, up 4 percent from a year ago.
Both Hyundai and Kia are expected to ramp up their efforts in the final stretch to reach their goals as Kia is also expected to show steady growth in both the U.S. and China. Hyundai and Kia will target a total of 1.22 million units in sales -- 700,000 for Hyundai and 520,000 for Kia –- at home. By the end of August, Hyundai sold 470,000 units and Kia 350,000 units so their combined sales reached 830,000 units. A cut in the individual consumption tax is fueling the expansion of their sales so many experts say that the two automakers will reach their sales goals this year.
Ssangyong Motor set domestic sales of 110,000 units as this year’s goal and is cruising towards its goal. The carmaker sold more than 70,000 units by the end of August through the launches of new cars such as the G4 Rexon. Given the fact that 9,000 units have been sold per month and year-end sales promotions are on the way, the company expects to record more sales than its target.
Renault Samsung and GM Korea began to accomplish their goals by launching new models. Renault Samsung’s target for this year is 100,000 units at home and 170,000 units abroad. Its cumulative domestic sales and exports stood at 55,000 units and 100,000 at the end of August. Its highly anticipated new model is the Master which ranks first in the European commercial vehicle market. The Master is expected to arrive in Korea in October. Many experts say that the Master with strong performance and a reasonable price will be the biggest variable in whether or not Renault Samsung will be able to achieve its goal.
GM Korea has never officially announced its sales target for this year. However, reportedly GM Korea has aimed to sell 500,000 units at home and abroad. As GM Korea’s sales surpassed over 300,000 units by the end of August, if the current trend holds, the automaker will be able to post about 450,000 units in sales. However, GM Korea is planning to surpass 500,000 units in sales by launching a partially changed new Malibu and expanding year-end marketing after October.