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Hyundai, Kia aim to achieve 2018 target on new SUV launches

All Headlines 15:48 July 20, 2018

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Friday they are targeting to achieve their sales target for this year by launching new sport-utility vehicles in the world's two major automobile markets in the second half.

In separate biannual meetings with overseas sales executives, Hyundai and Kia discussed measures to win the sales target of combined 7.55 million vehicles in 2018, up 4.1 percent from the 7.25 million units they sold last year, Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement.

They picked planned U.S. rate increases, rising oil prices, and unfriendly business environments due to the U.S. move to impose heavy tariffs on imported vehicles as major challenges to be tackled over in the second half, the statement said.

Hyundai Motor's Santa Fe SUV (Yonhap)

To boost sales in the second half, Hyundai plans to launch the new Santa Fe SUV and the upgraded Tucson SUV in the U.S. market in July and November, respectively. Kia will further promote the face-lifted Sorento SUV, launched in June, in the world's most important automobile market, it said.

The new Santa Fe is the most essential model to determine Hyundai's annual earnings results this year. If it is well accepted among U.S. customers later this year, Hyundai will come up with strong financial figures at the end of this year, the company's officials said.

In Europe, Hyundai's Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona subcompact SUV and Kia's Sportage SUV will be gradually introduced, the companies said.

In other efforts, Hyundai said it has recently set up a task force team to attract female customers in Saudi Arabia as women in the Middle Eastern country are now allowed to drive a car.

The maker of the Sonata sedan and the luxury sub-brand Genesis models expects the number of female drivers will reach 100,000 by 2020, the statement said.

In the January-June period, the two carmakers sold a total of 3.63 million vehicles, up 4.5 percent from 3.47 million units in the year-ago period, it said .

Their sales in the U.S. and China remained weak in the first six months but the first-half sales increase was driven by robust demand for their models in emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Russia, the statement said.

Hyundai and Kia plan to hold the biannual strategy meeting in December to discuss 2018 business results and set up plans for the next year.


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