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Hyundai Motor's Q1 hybrid car sales in U.S. grow 9 pct

All Headlines 09:21 April 11, 2016

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest carmaker, saw its hybrid car sales in the United States grow nearly 10 percent in the first quarter, bucking the market trend that many of its rivals lost ground in the face of protracted low oil prices, industry data showed Monday.

Hyundai Motor currently sells the Sonata as its sole hybrid model available in the U.S. It plans to unveil the Ioniq hybrid there in the second half.

According to data by Hybridcars.com, a U.S. green car online site, Hyundai Motor sold a total of 4,436 units of the Sonata hybrid during the January-March period, up 9 percent from a year earlier.

The sales growth comes in contrast with other rivals such as Toyota, Ford and Lexus, whose hybrid car sales shrank 4.61 percent, 17.24 percent and 6.57 percent on-year, respectively, the data showed.

Hybrid car sales on the global stage have been slowing in part due to less emphasis on fuel efficiency among customers caused by the low oil prices. The total hybrid sales in the U.S. came to 384,404 last year, down from 452,152 units a year earlier.

Since its U.S. debut in April 2011, Hyundai Motor has sold more than 100,000 units of the Sonata hybrid. Its latest version of the model was launched in July last year.

March's brisk sales brought up its market share. The Sonata hybrid took up 6 percent of total hybrid sales in the U.S. during the first quarter, up from the 4.7 percent recorded a year earlier. It came in fourth in terms of hybrid sales there.

Hyundai Motor still lagged far behind the market leader Prius by Japanese carmaker Toyota, whose sales came to 31,913 units in the same cited period, according to the data.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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