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Hyundai, While Not Pulling Up Stakes in the Car Market, Knows Where Its Future Prosperity Lies

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Image: Hyundai

Ignore that slight dip in U.S. gross sales quantity final yr, Hyundai Motor America’s chief working officer, Brian Smith, says. It’s simply because the automaker stopped flinging so many automobiles at rental businesses.

Barring some sudden catastrophe, 2019 ought to see the model’s gross sales climb in the U.S., Smith stated, including that Hyundai’s not planning on pulling a Ford or GM anytime quickly. Trustworthy-to-God automobiles will reside on in Hyundai’s lineup, however utility automobiles will proceed incomes an ever larger share of its complete quantity. No shock, what with an enormous ‘ute on the approach.

While the new Kona and upcoming Palisade will little question swell the ranks of Hyundai mild truck consumers, Smith feels followers of the firm’s Santa Cruz pickup idea might be pleasantly stunned by what the model has in retailer for them.

General, Hyundai gross sales fell 1.1 % in the U.S. in 2018, with passenger automobiles falling 15.1 % and lightweight truck gross sales rising 23.6 %. Like different manufacturers, Hyundai spent a lot of 2018 trying to pare down the variety of automobiles offloaded to rental fleets whereas boosting its business gross sales. On that entrance, the automaker was partially profitable, although it’s nonetheless a methods from its fleet goal.

However 2018 was additionally the yr new, desperately wanted crossovers began arriving. As Smith informed Wards Auto at the North American Worldwide Auto Present, the continued reputation of the Tucson compact (gross sales rose 24 % in 2018) and arrival of the subcompact Kona (Hyundai bought forty seven,090 final yr) pushed car considerations to the background. A revamped Santa Fe (née Santa Fe Sport) additionally appeared on the scene final yr.

Image: Hyundai

“We’re up about forty,000 models (2018 in contrast with 2017) on our SUVs, in order that made up for many of the decline in sedan,” Smith stated. “This yr we’re including slightly little bit of Kona and Santa Fe (CUVs to our business-fleet enterprise), however Tucson’s a very widespread fleet vehicle. It’s additionally fashionable at retail, and that’s our problem proper now…to satisfy the commitments to a few of the fleet corporations and nonetheless not run brief at sellers.”

Smith predicts continued progress for the Kona, with maybe 60,000 models bought in 2019. As for the burly Palisade, which matches on sale this summer time, Hyundai’s aiming for a 5 % market share in the three-row crossover phase, which interprets into 25,000 to 30,000 annual gross sales.

In the meantime, fashions like the revamped-for-2018 Accent and refreshed Elantra and Sonata nonetheless have a spot in the lineup. “We’re not carried out with Sonata or Elantra,” Smith stated. “We’re going to proceed to enhance these merchandise…and we’re going to achieve market share (with others leaving).”

Hyundai santa cruz concept

In fact, in trying to safe Ford and GM’s buyer castoffs, Hyundai should compete with the likes of Honda and Toyota, the latter of which has a brand new Corolla arriving this spring.

One factor Toyota and Honda — or some other automaker, for that matter — can’t boast is a compact, unibody sport pickup, one thing Hyundai nonetheless plans to foist on the American market. In the planning part for what looks like eons, the truck continues to be a go.

“It’s going by way of lots of reviews,” Smith stated. “The one factor I’m most inspired about, every time I see it with one other change, is it nonetheless appears like the idea. It’s not submitting to a number of modifications.”

Smith refers to the unibody, midsize Honda Ridgeline a “tweener,” including that Hyundai’s future providing “is far cooler and extra youth-oriented.”

[Images: Hyundai]

– Hyundai, While Not Pulling Up Stakes in the Car Market, Knows Where Its Future Prosperity Lies –

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