[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor on April 26 said it plans to release Sonata New Rise, the face-lifted version of its popular Sonata midsize sedan, in the US in the first half of this year.
“We are planning to sell Sonata New Rise, which has received good reviews in Korea, in the US to strengthen our profit in the country,” Koo Za-yong, Hyundai vice president in charge of investor relations, said during a conference call after the company’s first-quarter earnings report.
“We will increase long-term profits by selling Genesis G80 and other new cars in the American market as well.”
The facelift 2018 version of the Sonata was unveiled for the first time in the US at the New York Auto Show earlier this month, following the Korean debut in March.
Hyundai also said it will continue to monitor President Donald Trump’s protectionist moves and its effect on the automaker. Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors -- which make up Hyundai Motor Group -- announced US$3.1 billion investment in the US, joining global auto giants that have announced large investment plans in view of Trump’s protectionism policy.
Hyundai sold 169,000 units in the US in the first quarter, down 2.6 percent. Hyundai Motor America posted 2.03 trillion won in sales, decreased by 1.8 percent on-year.
During the conference call on April 26, Hyundai said its first-quarter operating profit fell 6.8 percent to 1.25 trillion won on-year, mainly hit by sales slump in its all-important Chinese market.
Revenue came to 23.36 trillion won, up 4.5 percent from a year-earlier, while net profit stood at 1.4 trillion won in the Jan.-March period, down 20.5 percent on-year.
The automaker sold 1.08 million units in the first quarter.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)