SEOUL, June 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Corp. said Friday their combined sales in the United States rose 21 percent in May from a year earlier on strong demand for their sport utility vehicles.
Last month, Hyundai and Kia sold 141,498 vehicles in the world’s most important automobile market, up from 117,373 units the previous year, according to the companies’ sales data.
Hyundai’s sales climbed 18 percent to 70,001 units in May from 59,432 a year ago, while Kia’s jumped 23 percent to 71,497 from 57,941 during the same period.
Hyundai’s independent Genesis brand’s sales figures were not immediately available.
The sales results were helped by robust sales of Hyundai’s Tucson and Santa Cruz SUVs and Kia’s Sportage, Sorento and Telluride SUVs, the companies said.
“More than two out of every three Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. today is a utility vehicle, and in combination with our growing lineup of advanced electrified offerings, we have strong tailwinds to push our business forward for the remainder of the year,” Eric Watson, vice president in charge of sales operations at Kia America, said in a statement.
From January to May, their overall sales were up 18 percent on-year to 649,099 autos from 548,974 during the same period of last year.
But the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) remains a major concern for the carmakers’ sales in the U.S. this year.
The IRA excludes electric vehicles built outside North America from tax credits. The new law is widely expected to deal a blow to Hyundai and Kia, as they produce most of their EVs at domestic plants for export to the U.S.
The two South Korean carmakers together form the world’s third-largest carmaker by sales after Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen Group.