(ATTN: CHANGES headline and lead; UPDATES Hyundai's sales figures to include Genesis model sales; ADDS details in paras 5, 10-11)
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 4.6 percent last year, helped by robust sales of SUVs.
In 2019, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 1,304,109 vehicles in the world's most important automobile market, up 4.6 percent from 1,257,307 units the previous year, the companies' sales data showed.
The annual figures include sales of Genesis models that are sold under Hyundai's independent Genesis brand.
Hyundai and Genesis' U.S. sales climbed 4.7 percent on-year to 710,044 units last year from 667,944 a year earlier. Kia's climbed 4.4 percent to 615,338 from 589,673 during the same period.
The G70, G80 and G90 models are available in the U.S. market, and the GV80, the first SUV under the Genesis brand, is set to be launched on Jan. 15 in South Korea.
SUV sales accounted for over 50 percent of Hyundai's total sales in the U.S. last year, the data showed. Hyundai's SUV lineup includes the flagship SUV Palisade and compact, entry-level SUV Venue.
Kia's sales were also helped by SUV models such as the Sportage, Sorento and Telluride.
"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's sales growth far outpaced those of German and Japanese carmakers in the U.S., where overall vehicle sales fell 1.2 percent on-year to 17,108,156 last year. Local auto giant General Motors Co. reported a 2.3 percent on-year sales decline to 2,887,046 units, according to Automotive News.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz posted 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent on-year growth to 362,238 and 358,409 units, respectively. Toyota Motors Corp. suffered a 1.8 percent on-year drop to 2,383,348 units, the weekly auto magazine said.
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.
New BTS song 'Film Out' tops Japan's Oricon weekly chart
'Dynamite' becomes 3rd BTS video to top 1 bln views
S. Korea, U.S. authorities assess N.K. has completed building new 3,000-ton submarine: sources
BTS enters Billboard Hot 100 with new Japanese single
Mamamoo to hold online concert on British streaming platform next month
(Yonhap Feature) How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon's party in by-elections
From Rose to Baekhyun, K-pop group idols also shine as solo acts
Moon takes election rout as 'reprimand' from the public, Cheong Wa Dae says
Boy band TXT to perform on Ellen DeGeneres show in latest global push
BTS to stream concerts in weekend Bang Bang Con event
Sex doll experience cafe condemned by residents in Yongin
S. Korea voices 'grave concerns' over Japan's expected decision to release Fukushima water into sea
(LEAD) New virus cases under 600 for 2nd day; spring resurgence in store
(3rd LD) S. Korea expresses 'strong regret' over Japan's decision to release water from Fukushima
New Marine Corps commandant takes office