Auto sales of South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Co. and its sibling Kia Motors Corp. shriveled 40 percent each in April in the United States against a year earlier due to plunged demand and output from the coronavirus outbreak.
Hyundai Motor America announced Friday (local time) it sold 33,968 finished cars last month in the U.S., down 39 percent from the same period a year ago. Kia Motors also reported its U.S. vehicle sales slid 38.2 percent on year to 31,750 units in April.
Hyundai Motor’s luxury brand Genesis delivered 806 units during the period, down 49.7 percent from the previous year.
Hyundai Motor’s popular sport utility vehicle Tucson however achieved the sales milestone of 1 million units since the launch in 2004, with April sales up 7 percent on year.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic significantly disrupted the U.S. auto industry in April, but Hyundai sales showed some resiliency thanks to the ingenuity of our dealers and being first to market with robust customer assistance programs,” said Randy Parker, vice president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America.
Korean auto makers have been suffering from sales and output plunge in major markets including North America, Europe and India after the COVID-19 developed into a global pandemic in March.
Hyundai Motor and Genesis saw a 42.4 percent on-year drop in U.S. vehicle sales in March, and Kia Motors 19 percent. They sold nothing last month in India due to factory shutdowns ordered by the Indian government, like other local names such as Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra.
Combined outbound shipments of finished vehicles sank 36.3 percent to total $2.39 billion worth in April, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Sunday. It was the steepest fall since the 38.1 percent plunge in June 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Korea’s exports of auto parts also almost halved to $1.02 billion worth during the period, data showed.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Lee Ha-yeon
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