Hyundai and Kia Continue With Record Sales, Slow Global Domination

By Jacob Brown | June 01, 2012
Perhaps the Korean automakers, Hyundai and Kia, constantly growing their shares of the U.S. market is becoming the biggest non-story of 2012. Each month, the two car companies continue to conquest curious customers who place a higher importance on value-per-dollar, and are seeing that the Korean automakers don't make junk anymore. It's obviously working. Hyundai just posted a sales gain of 13 percent, year over year, with its second-best sales month of all time. For those keeping score at home, that's 67,019 new Hyundais purchased in May. Kia wasn't too far behind, though, selling 51,771 vehicles last month, a 7.4-percent increase over last year and an 18.7-percent year-to-date increase over 2011. If that weren't enough, Kia also just sold its 4 millionth vehicle in the U.S. since it began selling cars here in 1994. One starts to wonder when the automakers will ever slow down. Hyundai's winners
  • Um, uh...all of them? With the exception of two vehicles that still sold incredibly well, Hyundai posted gains in every one of its segments...
  • ...especially the Accent, which was up almost 400 percent; the redesigned 2013 Azera, which posted a 558-percent gain; Veloster, which picked up 3,624 customers the automaker didn't have this time last year, and the soon-to-be discontinued Veracruz that even increased numbers over last year's figures.
Hyundai's losers
  • The Hyundai Sonata's May sales figures dropped nearly 2,000 cars to 20,765, and the Elantra's were down nearly 1,200 units to 18,877. When the rest of your sales blow up, your two best sellers losing a relatively tiny number over last year probably aren't too big of a deal.
Kia's winners
  • The subcompact Kia Rio increased sales 59.5 percent in May to 4,019. ┬áThe newly redesigned model came out late last year, helping explain much of the growth.
  • The Kia Optima keeps up a steady climb, posting 13,364 sales last month, the brand's best seller.
  • The Kia Sorento and Soul were both down, but they came in second and third with sales both over 10,000 apiece.
Kia's losers
  • The Kia Sportage small crossover was the brand's single-biggest loser, posting sales down more than 1,000 units to 3,467.
  • Following up, the Forte and Sedona showed declines, suggesting their down-the-road replacements are probably needed sooner rather than later.
Sources: Hyundai, Kia