Hyundai Motor Co. aims to sell one million units by 2025 in the United States, about 300,000 units more than its sales in 2019.
Hyundai Motor America (HMA) announced a mid-term sales plan at a meeting with Korean reporters at its main office in Fountain Valley near Los Angeles (LA) on Jan. 9 (local time). The sales target includes those of the Genesis brand.
The meeting was attended by Jose Munoz, global chief operating officer (COO) and president of the Americas of Hyundai Motor, Randy Parker, vice president of sales of Hyundai Motor America, and Mark Del Rosso, CEO of Genesis for North America. Munoz joined Hyundai Motor Co. in April last year after delivering record-setting performance in North America at Nissan. Rosso is a luxury brand expert who led Bentley and Audi over the past two decades and joined the Genesis in October 2019.
Hyundai Motor is betting on SUVs and the Genesis to attain its ambitious sales plan for 2025. The Korean carmaker has been struggling in recent years because it failed to catch the trend in the U.S. auto market towards SUVs. In 2016 SUV and truck sales accounted for 60.5 percent of the total sales in the U.S. auto market. But they accounted for only 28.5 percent of Hyundai Motor’s sales in the U.S. auto market.
However, Hyundai released new SUVs such as the Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade, ramping up the ratio of SUVs to 45.2 percent of its sales in 2019. In that year, SUVs accounted for 69 percent of the total vehicle sales in the United States. As a result, Hyundai Motor posted a sales increase of 5 percent in 2019 while the entire U.S. auto market recorded a negative growth of nearly 2 percent. Hyundai Motor ranked No. 1 in sales growth rates in the U.S. market last year. "Customers of rival brands such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Chevrolet are choosing the Palisade," Munoz said. "There is a shortage of the Palisade so we cannot supply it to rent-a-car companies."
At the same time, Hyundai Motor will also focus on brand marketing to narrow a gap with its competitors. According to a survey in 2019, Hyundai's brand recognition in the U.S. market was 69 percent, behind Toyota's 91 percent and Honda's 87 percent. In terms of familiarity, Hyundai Motor recorded 26 percent, compared to Toyota’s 57 percent and Honda’s 47 percent.
Hyundai Motor plans to invest profits gained through the brand marketing in the future mobility sector such as electrification, autonomous driving, and connectivity.