Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors have started off 2019 on a positive note in the US auto market, the automotive conglomerate’s data showed on Feb. 7.
In January, Hyundai recorded a 1.9 percent increase in sales compared with the same period last year, having sold 42,020 vehicles. Kia saw a 4.9 percent increase with 37,376 units sold. The boost in sales performance comes amid an overall fall of about 1 percent in total sales in the world’s No. 2 auto market in January.
Industry watchers say the sales growth is attributable to the increase in demand for the two Korean carmakers’ sport utility vehicles.
Hyundai’s SUV sales in the US grew 37.2 percent from a year earlier, at 21,007 units, nearly half of total vehicles sold. Kia sold 14,395 SUVs, up 5.7 percent on-year.
In November, Hyundai’s market share in the US SUV segment logged a record high of 3.7 percent -- the highest since its market entry in 2000.
New flagship SUVs, Hyundai’s Palisade and Kia’s Telluride, are expected to further buoy the segment, with launches in North America projected in the coming months.
The Palisade, which debuted at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show with boy band BTS as promoters, recently enjoyed exposure during the Super Bowl with a featured ad.
Five meters in length, the three-row Palisade is Hyundai’s biggest SUV, available in seven- or eight-seater models.
By Kim Arin (firstname.lastname@example.org)