SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – The market share of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors continues to plunge with no sign of recovery, with the figure hitting an eight-year low.
The U.S. market share of the Hyundai Motor Group, which owns both Hyundai and Kia Motors, is at its lowest in eight years, placing the South Korean carmaker behind the likes of Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
According to both Hyundai and Kia on Sunday, a total of 109,475 vehicles were sold last month, down 5.5 percent from the same time last year when the figure stood at 115,830.
Hyundai sold 57,007 vehicles, down 14.4 percent from last year, while Kia sold 52,468, up 6.6 percent.
The companies have so far sold a combined 969,670 vehicles this year, down over 10 percent from the same time last year, with Hyundai and Kia experiencing sales drops of 12.9 and 6.9 percent, respectively.
As a result of declining sales, the market share of the two carmakers combined during the first nine months of 2017 was estimated to be 7.5 percent, the lowest since 2009 when the figure hit 7 percent, with Hyundai’s drop particularly noteworthy.
In the meantime, the gap with rivals like Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, which is the sixth biggest car manufacturer in the U.S. market, more than doubled, from 1.4 percent last year to 2.4 percent.
A lack of effort put into low profitability business models such as fleet sales this year has been pointed out as among the factors behind the market share drop in recent months.
Some believe, however, that the decline points to a bigger problem – competitiveness – as issues like political tension over a THAAD anti-missile system shouldn’t affect the U.S. market the way they do the Chinese market.
“Many of the vehicles that are on sale have been released some time ago, with Hyundai Motor in particular not having released many new models this year,” an official at the Hyundai Motor Group said.
“We believe the situation will improve once the new models released earlier in South Korea are released in the U.S. market,” the official added.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)