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(LEAD) Hyundai, Kia suffer 7.3 pct drop in U.S. vehicle sales in 2020

All News 09:17 January 06, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead, throughout with Kia figures; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Wednesday their U.S. vehicle sales fell 7.3 percent in 2020 from a year earlier amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyundai and Kia, South Korea's two biggest carmakers, sold a combined 1,208,374 vehicles in the world's most important automobile market last year, down from 1,304,109 units the previous year, the companies said in separate statements.

Hyundai's U.S. sales fell 9.7 percent to 622,269 units last year from 688,771 a year ago, while Kia's declined 4.5 percent to 586,105 from 615,338 during the same period.

In December, Hyundai's sales rose 2 percent to 66,278 units from 64,720 a year ago on robust sales of the Palisade and Santa Fe SUVs, and Kia's climbed 4.9 percent to 53,764 from 51,229 on demand for the Telluride and Seltos SUVs.

The result was helped by "quick action by the entire company amid the pandemic and one of the strongest product lineups in the industry," Randy Parker, vice president in charge of national sales at Hyundai Motor America, said in the statement.

Hyundai's independent Genesis brand didn't release its annual sales results for the U.S. market.

For the whole of 2020, Hyundai and Kia's overall sales fell 12 percent to 6.35 million units from 7.19 million a year ago as the pandemic weighed on consumer sentiment.

The carmakers aim to sell 7.08 million vehicles in global markets this year as they expect vehicle sales to improve on the supplying of COVID-19 vaccines.

(LEAD) Hyundai, Kia suffer 7.3 pct drop in U.S. vehicle sales in 2020 - 1

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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