Hyundai Motor Company is off to a strong start this year, as worldwide sales for the month of January rose 2.9 per cent year-over-year to 156,222 units.

Export sales, including the output of the Indian, Turkish and Chinese manufacturing subsidiaries, improved by 10.5 per cent year-on-year to 95,567 units helped by European-bound shipments of the Click/Getz and Lavita/Matrix which continued to pick up momentum.

Domestic sales, however, saw a 7.2 per cent decline in year-on-year sales to 60,655 units. The fact that January 2003 domestic sales rose by 1 per cent over December 2002 provided a measure of comfort. What's more, the achievement bucked the market trend as combined January sales for all makers fell by 5 per cent over the previous month. Hyundai managed to retain a 49.9 per cent share of the domestic passenger car market and a 48.3 per cent share of the overall market.

In a surprise development, the Avante XD/Elantra emerged as the number one domestic seller in January with 9,185 units sold signalling a shift in consumer sentiment towards frugality. It displaced the EF Sonata mid-sized saloon which has ruled the local sales charts for years. The Sonata placed a close second with 8,664 units sold.

Diesels continued to ride a domestic sales boom led by the Santa Fe SUV which posted sales of 7,689 units – its best ever sales month since its June 2000 debut. Sales of SUVs and people movers like the Lavita/Matrix and Trajet XG were up in the first month by 17.4 per cent over December to 14,332 units.

Published : 13/02/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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