Korean Automakers Bust Down Doors and Records in Stellar Black Friday Sales

By Blake Z. Rong | December 02, 2011
Marketing folks love to trot out the phrase “it’s the product, stupid.” Some of them probably have it tattooed somewhere on their bodies. Spurred by this hackneyed phrase, it’s been a good month for the Korean automakers, to say the least. both Hyundai and Kia saw record sales for the month of November, fueled by new product that, judging by their appeal to consumers, speaks for itself. Stupid? Hardly. Hyundai’s sales rose 22 percent overall in November, breaking its typical November sales record from years past. Kia’s sales grew equally strongly as well, seeing a rise of 39.1 percent and an all-time sales record for the month. For Hyundais, sales of compact and family sedans went up, while Kia’s newly-redesigned darlings Rio and Optima sold well. Most of these sales occurred around Thanksgiving weekend, where Black Friday doesn’t just apply to laptops and Tickle-Me-Elmos. "With vehicle availability at the highest levels for the year and with positive demand signals and improving consumer confidence,” said Dave Zuchowski, vice president for sales at Hyundai America, “Hyundai is positioned for a very strong December finish to this record-breaking year."
We just hope nobody got pepper-sprayed at the dealerships. Hyundai Winners
  • Accent: If the Accent had an honest tagline, it’d be “not the bottom-feeder it once was!”
  • Elantra: The Elantra is no longer the punch line it once was—which seems to be a recurring theme with Hyundai that automotive pundits will never get over.
  • Sonata: With a slew of powerful, efficient engines, a low base price, and competitive interior room what's not to like?
  • Tucson: Come visit sunny Tucson in your Tucson!
  • Veracruz: Surprisingly enough, this usually slow-selling seven-seater saw a sales bump.
Hyundai Losers:
  • Genesis: A bigger engine and equipment upgrades couldn’t save the big ‘Dai from slipping 10 percent in sales this month.
  • Santa Fe: Unlike its New Mexican namesake, nobody’s going here for the winter.
  • Azera: The Azera only managed to lure 58 suckers to its maniacally-grinning visage. No matter, a new one is right around the corner, as reported previously.
Kia Winners
  • Sorrento: Kia’s sharp cute-ute looks big and sold big.
  • Soul: 6,865 people now have a new Soul.
  • Rio: The cheapest car in Kia’s lineup is all new, and more than doubled in sales. Hey, it’s a recession.
  • Sedona: Sure, it’s old, and dull, and a minivan. But hey, that’s exactly what some people want.
  • Optima: the new Optima sure showed Optima-istic sales (see what I did there?), skyrocketing to more than 9,000 models this month.
Kia Losers:
  • Forte: Strong sales aren’t the Forte’s, uh, forte. (Too obvious?)
Source: Hyundai, Kia