By Chu [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL] via Wikimedia Commons
Hyundai Motor of South Korea and Kia Motors, its affiliate, set a total sales target for 2018 of 7.55 million vehicles, a somewhat modest improvement compared to the previous year.
Analysts said that growth in terms of sales was expected to be small, partly because of the slow response of the company to the booming SUV segment and the weak demand in China and the United States.
Analysts estimate that the automakers sold around 7.3 million vehicles in 2017, falling short of their goal of 8.25 million and the company’s lowest sales since 2012.
The sales of the company in China, the largest auto market in the world, fell amid a chill between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of South Korea of a U.S. anti-missile system. In October, South Korea and China agreed to normalise exchanges and move past the said dispute.
In a regulatory filing, Hyundai said that it planned to sell around 4.68 million vehicles overseas and at home. On the other hand, Kia Motors targeted total sales of 2.88 million vehicles. Both companies are expected to announce their sales numbers for 2017 later on Tuesday.
In a New Year speech to employee, the vice chairman of Hyundai Motor, Yoon Yeo-chul, stated: “Global auto demand growth is expected to stagnate this year, with demand seen shrinking in major markets like the United States, China and Europe.”