SEOUL, Korea, Feb. 4, 2003 - Hyundai Motor Co. is off to a strong start this year as worldwide sales for the month of January rose 2.9 percent year-over-year to 156,222 units.
Export sales, including the output of the Indian, Turkish and Chinese manufacturing subsidiaries, improved by 10.5 percent y-o-y to 95,567 units helped by European-bound shipments of the Click/Getz and Lavita/Matrix which continued to pick up momentum.
Domestic sales, however, saw a 7.2 percent decline in y-o-y sales to 60,655 units. The fact that January 2003 domestic sales rose by 1 percent over December 2002 provided a measure of comfort. What’s more, the achievement bucked the market trend as combined January sales for all makers fell by 5 percent over the previous month. Hyundai managed to retain a 49.9 percent share of the domestic passenger car market and a 48.3 percent share of the overall market.
In a surprise development, the Avante XD/Elantra emerged as the number one domestic seller in January with 9,185 units sold signaling a shift in consumer sentiment towards frugality. It displaced the EF Sonata mid-sized sedan which has ruled the local sales charts for years. The Sonata placed a close second with 8,664 units sold.
Diesels continued to ride a domestic sales boom led by the Santa Fe SUV which posted sales of 7,689 units—its best ever sales month since its June 2000 debut. Sales of SUVs and people movers like the Lavita/Matrix and Trajet XG were up in the first month by 17.4 percent over December to 14,332 units.
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