By Choi Kyong-ae
SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Thursday their combined sales in the United States rose 3.7 percent last year, helped by robust sales of SUVs.
In 2019, Hyundai and Kia sold 1,304,109 vehicles in the world's most important automobile market, up from 1,257,307 units the previous year, the companies' sales data showed.
Hyundai's U.S. sales rose 3.2 percent on-year to 688,771 units last year from 667,634 a year earlier. Kia's climbed 4.4 percent to 615,338 from 589,673 during the same period.
SUV sales accounted for 53 percent of Hyundai's total sales in the U.S. last year. Hyundai's SUV lineup includes the flagship SUV Palisade and compact, entry-level SUV Venue, the data said.
Kia's sales were also helped by models, such as the Sportage, Sorento and Telluride SUVs.
"The unprecedented consumer interest in the Telluride boosted Kia's sales and demand for the model continues to outpace supply more than 11 months after its introduction," Kia said in a statement.
The Telluride, manufactured in Kia's U.S. plant and sold in North American markets only, was named the 2020 SUV of the year by MotorTrend.
Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 7.19 million autos in global markets last year, missing their annual sales target of 7.55 million units on lower demand in China, the world's biggest automobile market.
In 2020, they are aiming to sell 7.54 million autos by launching a series of fully revamped models in major markets.
The new models include the GV80 SUV and G80 sedan to be launched under Hyundai's independent Genesis brand the Genesis G80 sedan in the first half of 2020 and Hyundai's Tucson SUV and Kia's Sportage SUV and Carnival van to be released in the second half.
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