SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. will seek to greatly boost their combined sales in China next year with various new models that will include SUVs, informed sources said Thursday.
According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the two carmakers have recently set their combined sales target in China at 1.95 million for 2017.
The figure will mark a near 8 percent spike from their estimated sales this year. The two automakers form Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group by sales.
Such an ambitious plan, however, comes amid a well-expected slowdown in the world’s largest auto market.
China’s overall auto sales have so far jumped 15.5 percent on-year so far, largely on a temporary reduction of excise taxes from 10 percent to 5 percent.
Earlier reports suggested the Chinese government may reduce the tax cut to 7.5 percent in 2017, slowing the growth in the country’s auto sales to 4.4 percent.
The South Korean automotive group’s sales target also follows a steady decline in its China sales.
In the first 11 months of the year, the two carmakers under its wing sold a little short of 1.6 million cars.
The group earlier sought to sell 1.8 million cars in the Chinese market, which would have marked a 7.2 percent increase from 1,678,922 cars sold in 2015. It is widely expected to fall short of the target.
Amid a slowing growth in its global sales, the group has said it will introduce seven new and refreshed vehicle models next year in what it called one of the most ambitious launch schedules.
They will include two new SUVs, one from each automaker, along with the brand new G70 of Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis, and a new and first sport sedan from Kia Motors.