More than 7 in 10 cars sold by Hyundai Motor Group in the US were sport utility vehicles, according to the South Korean auto giant’s sales data unveiled Monday.
In the first two months of this year, Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia sold a combined 162,632 SUVs in the all-important US market, an equivalent of 70.7 percent of its total sales of 230,000 vehicles.
Hyundai and its luxury sibling Genesis sold 86,718 SUVs, while Kia sold 5,914 SUVs.
It is the first time that the SUV portion has exceeded 70 percent of its total vehicle sales in the US, having previously marked 36 percent back in 2015.
Last year, total SUV sales in the US recorded 1.03 million vehicles.
Compared to 2015 when the carmaker sold five SUV models, its SUV lineup now boasts 18 models in different sizes, including eco-friendly electric and hydrogen models.
“We started to offer more SUV cars in the US to target the burgeoning market for more spacious and practical cars,” said an official from Hyundai Motor Group.
SUVs that are mostly higher priced than sedan cars have also helped the carmaker elevate profitability overall. Largely driven by robust SUV sales, Hyundai and Kia posted 1.4 trillion won ($1.08 billion) and 1.1 trillion won in net profits in the US last year, up 38 percent and 32 percent from a year ago, respectively.