Hyundai aims to sell 8.25m cars in 2017

SEOUL: South Korea’s largest automakers Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia have forecast sales of 8.25 million vehicles this year amid hopes that new factories will tap into emerging markets.
The projected sales for 2017 mark a slight increase from the previous year’s target of 8.13 million, the Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-Koo said in a New Year email message to employees on Monday.
Hyundai, which along with Kia forms the world’s fifth-largest automaking group, has seen profits falling for years amid slowing demand in its key China market and a strong won that hurt its competitiveness overseas.
The group missed its annual sales target for a second year in a row last year when major strikes by South Korean workers hit production.
Hyundai-Kia jointly sold a little over 7 million units from January to November in 2016.
But it hopes to turn things around with a new factory to open in Chongqing, China, and the launch of new vehicles.
“We should strengthen production networks among 35 plants in 10 countries, including the Chongqing plant to open this year,” Chung said.
“We… will also strengthen product lineup in luxury and environmentally-friendly cars and introduce more than 10 new vehicles this year,” he added.
New models — including sports utility vehicles popular in China — will also be produced at newly-opened plants in Changzhou in China and Mexico, according to the group.
The Chongqing plant — Hyundai’s 5th plant in China — is aimed at exploiting the fast-growing midwestern region in the country, the world’s largest auto market. — AFP