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Hyundai, Kia see domestic sales of full-size sedans plunge

Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. saw domestic sales of their full-size sedans drop sharply in the face of intensifying competition from foreign brands, industry data showed Tuesday.

According to the data, Hyundai Motor, the country's largest carmaker, sold 19,919 units of the Grandeur during the first quarter of this year, down 15.7 percent from a year earlier.

The Grandeur was one of the best-selling cars, with over 93,000 units of the model sold last year.

The sales of the Genesis full-size sedan also shrank 16.9 percent on-year to 9,205 units during the cited period, while those of the Equus, whose full-change model is to be unveiled in the second half, fell 23.2 percent to 2,071 units, the data showed.

Hyundai Motor also sold a mere 2,990 units of the Aslan during the three-month period, which fell far short of its annual sales target of 22,000.

Kia Motors, the country's No. 2 carmaker in terms of sales, is facing no less of a gloomy situation in the full-size sedan segment. The sales of its K7 and K9 sedans fell 23.5 percent and 18 percent, respectively, to 4,589 and 1,226 units during the first quarter.

Consumers seem to have delayed their purchase of new cars as full-change versions of some of the models will likely hit showrooms soon and a recent trend where people prefer SUVs over passenger sedans might have played a role.

Experts still say that the sluggish sales figures are attributable much to strong demand for foreign brands that are pushing to strengthen their presence here with aggressive marketing and promotion drive.

Industry data earlier showed that the cumulative foreign car sales came to 58,969 units, up 32.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. (Yonhap)