Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo is expected to call on the automotive group’s U.S. operation to map out measures against Toyota Motor’s rapid sales growth in North America.
Chung has left for Los Angeles where Hyundai’s U.S. sales corporation is located. “The chairman will also visit the Alabama plant of Hyundai Motor and the Georgia plant of (affiliate) Kia Motors,” a group spokesman said Monday.
“The U.S. auto market was also hit by the eurozone debt crisis. The chairman’s visit is aimed at taking preemptive measures against overall lackluster sales in the market,” said the spokesman.
Group spokespeople also predicted that Chung will hold an intensive discussion with executives in the U.S. in a bid to generate strategies to closely battle the Japanese competitors.
Toyota Motor Corp., which had suffered an unprecedented global sales drop in the wake of a massive recall incident and natural disasters in its home country, is conducting aggressive sales marketing.
The Japanese player has said it sold 4.97 million vehicles globally in the first half of the year, while GM sales stood at 4.67 million units.
In February, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors saw their sales in the U.S. market reach all-time highs.
Hyundai sold 51,151 units in February in the U.S., up 18 percent from 43,533 units a year earlier. It is a record-high performance for the carmaker’s February sales.
Sales of the Sonata and Avante, called the Elantra in the U.S., reached 17,425 and 13,820 units, respectively.
Kia reported 37.3 percent growth with sales of 45,038 units in the world’s biggest automobile market, compared to 32,806 units a year before.
Last year, Hyundai-Kia saw their total sales in the U.S. surpass 10 million units.
In the North American market, Hyundai Motor has sold 7.13 million units over the past 25 years and Kia Motors’ sales came to 3.68 million units over 17 years.
Hyundai, which was established in 1967 and made its first export in 1976 with the Pony sedan to Ecuador, finally entered the U.S. market in 1986.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org