Chart Of The Day: Is Kia About To Catch Hyundai In U.S. Sales?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
chart of the day is kia about to catch hyundai in u s sales

Hyundai’s U.S. operations produced record sales in calendar year 2014 and in the process outsold Kia – which also reported record sales last year – by an average of 12,000 sales per month. That gap was narrower than in 2013, when Hyundai typically outsold Kia by more than 15,000 sales per month.

But after outselling its Kia partner by 6,206 units in January of this year, 8475 units in February, 16,248 in March (Hyundai Motor America’s best ever month), and 14,727 units in April, Hyundai’s favourable gap narrowed to only 1,177 units in May.

Yes, May, Kia Motors America’s best ever month and a month in which Hyundai sales declined 10%, year-over-year. Compared with May 2014, Hyundai’s U.S. market share slid from 4.41% to 3.89%. Kia, on the other hand, saw its market share increase from 3.73% in May 2014 to 3.82%.

Every Hyundai except the Elantra posted decreased volume, year-over-year. At Kia, despite declines from the Cadenza, K900, Optima, Rio, and Soul, the brand’s sales were up 4% because of a 19% Forte increase, a 2% Sorento improvement, and the Sedona’s 3,371-unit, 456% increase.

With 26 selling days in May 2015, Kia sold 2,401 vehicles per day last month, just 46 fewer sales per day than Hyundai.

Will Kia be able to overcome that 2% margin in the near future, or was this just the result of a confluence of incentive, inventory, and oddly timed events?

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • Ion Ion on Jun 14, 2015

    We had a sephia, it fell apart in single digit years. We'll never buy another cheap piece of garbage kia again. Our neighbor's sportage had the taillights melt. It amazes me that the same people who harp on the domestics for problems 30 years ago will gladly buy the Koreans with problems less than a decade ago. Oh and that "warranty"? Good luck finding a dealer that stays open more than 3 years who doesn't want you to jump through flaming hoops.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jun 14, 2015

    My niece has an 06 Sonata she purchased new and has put on relatively few miles (70,000). Other than the dirtbag OE tires, two of which failed structurally and the other two wore out before 25,000 miles, she's quite pleased with it. I think the potential for Hyundai/Kia repeat sales is pretty good.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jun 15, 2015

    I am a Kia/Hyundai fan...park a Sonata or Optima next to a Camry, and they just scream out "nicer car" than the Camry. Having said that, my bride is a die-hard Honda buyer and not only buys only Hondas, but only goes to one dealership. I do find the appliance/electronics market interesting too...LG appliances are pretty darn nice...but I don't entirely trust electronic controls on stuff like that, from any manufacturer...give me a basic Whirlpool top loader any time. I keep waiting for our Maytag Neptune front load washer and dryer to die, no telling what fancy schmancy replacements we will wind up with.

    • See 2 previous
    • RideHeight RideHeight on Jun 15, 2015

      @bd2 Could the "sporty" suspension be the influence of Akio? In sedans intended from the start for the least enthusiast segment of the market? Damn scions taking over businesses...

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jun 16, 2015

    Every Camry I have been in recently looks and feels like something I would rent from Enterprise. I was killing time between appointments recently and stopped in a dealership to browse the lot. The Avalons looked nice, but when I saw a $42k sticker price on the cool looking one, I about dropped dead. I thought $30k for an Accord EXL was bad, but that was amazing. The older I get, the more I appreciate a smooth, quiet ride, and I prefer smaller tires with taller sidewalls...cheaper to replace and softer riding. I do find it interesting that Hyundai Auto Group has two brands going toe to toe with each other, but from a marketing perspective I suppose it made sense to them.