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Hyundai, Kia see U.S. sales fall slightly in Dec.

All Headlines 05:20 January 05, 2017

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., saw their combined sales in the United States fall slightly in December, but their annual sales in 2016 were the best-ever, industry data showed Wednesday.

The two South Korean auto giants sold a combined 116,658 units in the U.S. last month, 1 percent down from 117,749 units last year, due to a 1.9 percent fall in Hyundai's sales to 62,305 units, compared with last year's 63,508, the data showed.

Kia's December sales rose slightly to 54,353 units from last year's 54,241.

For all of 2016, however, both Hyundai and Kia said they had the best-ever annual sales in the U.S.

Hyundai sold a total of 775,005 units in 2016, up 1.75 percent from last year, in the seventh consecutive year of record U.S. sales, while Kia sold 647,598 units, a 3.5 percent rise from last year, the data showed.

"As consumer confidence surged in December, to the highest level in more than a decade, we were able to capitalize on that and set a new record for sales in 2016," Derrick Hatami, vice president of national sales for Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement.

Kia said the December sales represent the highest for the month in company history, and it also capped off the best-ever fourth quarter sales.

"No auto brand has experienced greater growth in the U.S. over the last 20-plus years, and Kia will be on the offensive once again in 2017 with several new products in the pipeline that will continue challenging everything people think they know about this brand, starting with a major world debut next week in Detroit," said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer of Kia Motors America.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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