Momentum Interruptus: Subaru Drops 23 Percent, Hyundai Falls 11 Percent, Kia Sheds 23 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
momentum interruptus subaru drops 23 percent hyundai falls 11 percent kia sheds 23

Subaru and Hyundai/ Kia have been two of the strongest-growing brands in America over the past year or so, but even their momentum wasn’t enough to prevent “uh-oh” moments this month. Subaru sales fell 23 percent, despite another strong showing from Outback (+37%, 8,053). Forester and Impreza, which launched Subaru to a 52% sales jump last August, were down 39 and 42 percent respectively. Hyundai was another big winner in last year’s C4C sales glut, and its volume was down considerably by comparison last month. Accent and Santa Fe were down by 50 percent or more, but the redesigned Sonata did manage to nearly double its August 09 volume. Even Genesis was up (as was Tucson), but Hyundai still ended the month with a 11 percent overall sales decline. The biggest contributor: Accent, which sold 3,844 compared to 10,099 in August 2009. Kia fell about 23 percent, as Forte, Sorento, Sedona and Soul gains were offset by huge declines in Rio, Spectra, Optima and Sportage. Full numbers after the jump…

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • CT_Jake CT_Jake on Sep 02, 2010

    I agree that too much hype out there about month-to-month comparisons. YTD numbers are a better way to view them. Regarding Subaru [I own a '99 Forester and still love the noisy little bugger], they are a successful niche company who'd make a big mistake in trying to get to the size of a Honda/Toyota/Nissan. Here in the northeast, they are quite popular. The recent updates to appeal to a larger audience seem to be working to some extent. Mr. Horner is correct in that they are off the mark in terms of their technology. Who's bright idea was it to have the smaller Forester get less mpg than the larger Outback (27 vs. 31 hwy)? They've been very slow in updating the engines and transmissions in their bread and butter vehicles. The STI and WRX seem to get all the attention, but they sell so few. They are going to have a tough time meeting the 2015 CAFE numbers if they don't bring over the diesel from Europe. Maybe they'll have their act together by the time I'm finnished with my Subie.

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Sep 02, 2010

    I think what Hyundai will do is buy Subaru and make it their affordable niche brand, because they want to move Hyundai upmarket. Today the Equus, tomorrow the Bentleymus?