Hyundai Motor said on February 12 that its January sales in India contracted 2.6 percent from a year ago, mainly due to sluggish overall demand in the country.
Korea’s largest carmaker said that its sales inched down to 33,405 units in January from 34,302 units a year earlier.
India is the world’s third-largest single car market, as well as an important production and export base for the carmaker that has a plant capable of producing 600,000 cars per year. In 2013, the company sold 380,002 cars in India.
According to an official of the company, Hyundai actually did well under the circumstances, considering the Indian car market as a whole contracted some 6 percent.
Demand for the popular Grand i10 that was launched in August helped increase numbers, while sales of the mini car reached 9,738 units, up from 9,077 vehicles sold in December last year. It added sales for its Santro Xing city car hit 3,385 vehicles, up 11 percent from a year ago.
Indian local demand for other models such as the Verna, Avante, Sonata, and Sante Fe all decreased in January from a year earlier. Kia Motors, the second-largest South Korean automaker and part of the Hyundai Motor Group, does not sell cars in India.
The automotive group also said its sales numbers in Russia, a key market, were mixed with Kia posting a 1 percent increase, while Hyundai sales decreased 2 percent from a year earlier.
It said Kia sold 11,199 units in the first month of 2013, a drop from the previous year’s 11,059. Hyundai sold 11,044 vehicles, down from 11,306 units.
The carmaker said Russian car sales were down by more than 5 percent in January, so Hyundai’s numbers cannot be viewed as very bad. Hyundai operates a production plant in Saint Petersburg able to produce some 200,000 vehicles per year.
Hyundai and Kia recently reported sales gains in both Chinese and US markets for January. The figures for the European market have not yet been released.