[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor , Korea’s largest carmaker, on July 26 said it expects sales of its latest subcompact SUV Kona to hit 10,000 units in July.
“Kona, which was launched in June, is expected to clinch 10,000 orders in Korea by the end of July,” Hyundai CFO Choi Byeong-cheol said during a conference call after its second-quarter earnings report.
“Through Kona, we plan on strengthening global SUV sales, just as we did with the Creta SUV.”
Creta is Hyundai’s B-segment SUV for emerging markets, including India, Russia, Brazil and China -- also sold as the ix25.
Thanks to Kona’s positive initial response, Hyundai is confident it will be able to achieve this year’s annual target of 67,000 units globally. Kona will be shipped to Europe in August and the US in December.
The carmaker vowed to complete the full SUV lineup by 2020 as it seeks to move away from a sedan-heavy lineup. It plans to launch the smallest A-segment SUV, which sits below Kona, and the biggest E-segment, larger than Sportage SUV.
During the conference call on July 26, Hyundai said its second quarter operating profit dropped 23.7 percent on-year to 1.34 trillion won (US$1.19 billion), hit by sales slump in its all-important Chinese market amid political tension.
Revenue came to 24.30 trillion won, down 1.5 percent from a year earlier, and net profit stood at 913.6 billion won in the April-June period, down 48.2 percent. The automaker sold 1.10 million units in the cited period.
As for the first half of this year, Hyundai sold 2.19 million units in Korea and overseas, down 8.2 percent.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)