The figure included sales of Genesis sedans or Hyundai’s luxury brand, which remained flaccid throughout the year.
Despite the overall drop, Hyundai’s US shipments rose 3.3 percent in December from a year ago, with SUV sales spiking 42 percent.
Sales of Tucson SUV, subcompact SUV Kona and Ioniq electric vehicle were strong, but Sonata and Elantra sedans stayed weak.
In particular, sales of the Tucson soared 32 percent on-year in December, renewing monthly records for 22 months in a row. Hyundai also sold more than 8,000 Konas last month, up 39 percent from a year ago.
Kia sold 589,763 units in the world’s No. 2 auto market last year, up 0.1 percent from a year earlier.
Its US sales remained sluggish before chalking off a 10.2 percent on-year hike to 47,428 units in December.
SUVs led Kia’s sales in America with shipments of Sportage and Sorento rising 13.7 percent and 8.2 percent on-year, respectively.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)