The Hyundai sales juggernaut rolled on in November, posting the highest month-on-month gain of any brand with a 46 percent increase [release here]. Its sister brand Kia wasn’t far behind with a 21 percent sales gain over November 2008 [release here]. Year-to-date, the two brands have combined for 680,282 units, a mere 16,417 fewer than Nissan’s 2009 numbers.
Hyundai did post predictable declines for its end-of-life models like Tiburon (one unit sold), Azera (248 units sold) and Entourage (-2 sales, somehow). Veracruz and Tucson were the only other decliners for the brand though, with decreases of 470 and 30 units respectively. Otherwise, the news was all good. Accent climbed a whopping 93 percent, to 3,831 units, Elantra rose 88 percent to 6,127 units, and Sonata improved by 52 percent with 8,178 units sold. Santa Fe added 53 percent, climbing to 6,564 units, while Genesis doubled up as well, with a 52 percent increase to 1,751 units.
Kia followed Hyundai’s example, losing sales in non-car segments but more than making up for them with its cars. Borrego was Kia’s only non-car gainer, posting 825 sales compared to only 190 last November. Rondo posted a 70 percent decline to 425 units, while Sedona slid 15 percent to 1,895 and Sorento fell about 45 percent to 1,657. Sportage was flat at 1,340 units. Amanti proved that its Cadenza replacement can’t come soon enough, as it was the only Kia car to post a decline, falling from 415 to 35 units. Optima increased about 57 percent to 1,644 units, while Rio increased 64 percent to 3,496. The discontinued Spectra sold only 89 units, but its replacement, the Forte, more than matched last November’s Spectra sales, moving 4,044 units. Kia’s other new model, the Soul sold a respectable 2,505 units.
The rise of Hyundai-Kia proves that lagging automakers can’t simply wait for the market to turn around a float all boats equally. Hyundai is aggressively grabbing market share, ratcheting up pressure on moribund brands. Hyundai-Kia’s success with cars rather than SUVs seems to be another indication of where the market is headed. In any case, there’s no doubt that Hyundai Group is becoming a major player, sneaking up on Nissan and Chrysler’s annual sales volume.