Hyundai January Sales Up 22 Percent; Kia Sales Rise 23 Percent

Automobile Staff
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Hyundai and Kia managed to post some incredible sales results in North America in 2010, but that hot streak appears to have continued into the first month of 2011. Hyundai revealed January U.S. sales rose nearly 22 percent, while Kia reported an incredible 23.4-percent sales gain.

All but four Kia models managed to post sales increases over the same period last year. Leading the offensive is the company’s new Sorento midsize SUV, with sales totaling 8116 units in January (up from 7398 units last year). The Soul, thanks in some part to strategic incentives, managed to edge out the Forte for the second place slot. Kia moved 5345 and 5330 Fortes in January, handily eclipsing the 2145 and 3732 vehicles sold last year, respectively.

Kia’s midsize Optima sedan accounted for nearly 3819 deliveries -- 3338 of which were the all-new 2011 model. Even that figure alone eclipses the number of last-gen Optimas Kia sold in January of 2010 (3162 cars, to be exact). The Sportage may rank fifth on Kia’s list, but with 3024 units sold this past month, it posted the highest year-to-year sales increase (only 762 examples of the previous-generation Sportage rolled off dealers lots last year). Kia even managed to sell 1066 examples of its aging Sedona minivan, nearly 138 vehicles more than last January.

Unsurprisingly, the Kia models that didn’t post a sales gain are either aging, due to be replaced, or are discontinued altogether. Kia sold 963 Rio subcompacts this past January, less than half of the amount it sold last year. 101 buyers ponied up for the discontinued Borrego SUV (694 did the same during last January), and 24 did the same for the cancelled Rondo crossover. Remarkably, Kia managed to sell only a single Amanti in January, perhaps confirming that the refreshed model, which is due later this year, can’t reach the market soon enough.

Kia’s corporate parent also had a prosperous month. Overall sales were up 22 percent, and retail sales alone increased 58 percent when compared to January 2010.

Unsurprisingly, the midsize Sonata sedan continues to be the brand’s best-selling model. 13,261 examples found new homes this January, a solid increase over the 5306 sold last year. The revised Elantra also found success in January; sales totaled 9659 cars, a solid increase over the 7690 examples of the last-generation model sold in 2010.

Interestingly, Hyundai’s third and fourth best-selling cars actually saw their sales figures decrease slightly last month. A total of 4415 Santa Fe SUVs were sold, which pales to the 7204 sold in the same period in 2010. Hyundai sold 4424 Accent subcompacts in January, which suggests buyers might be holding out for a new model expected to launch within the next year. The only other model to post a decrease in sales was the Azera sedan (156 cars versus 269 in 2010), which will be replaced later this year.

Still, the remainder of the company’s lineup saw sales increases. Tucson sales rang in at 2863 vehicles (up nearly 600 from last January), while the Genesis coupe and sedan accounted for nearly 1783 vehicles, an increase of nearly 113 cars. Veracruz sales jumped 178 units to 579 vehicles, while the company also managed to sell 254 examples of its Equus flagship in January.

Source: Hyundai, Kia

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