ⓒ JoongAng Ilbo / JoongAng Ilbo Japanese version2022.12.23 11:31
Korea’s Hyundai Motor has surpassed 15 million cumulative sales in the US market. It is the first time in 36 years that the company has achieved this record since 1986, when Excel, which was produced at the Ulsan factory, was exported to the United States for the first time.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales subsidiary (HMA) handed over the 15 millionth new car “Tucson” to customers on the 21st (local time) at the dealership “West Herr Hyundai” in Williamsville, New York. announced. “We were able to cap off the year with a milestone of 15 million cumulative sales,” said Randy Parker, HMA’s CEO.
Hyundai entered the US market for the first time in January 1986. In its first year in the U.S. market, 168,000 units of the Excel model were sold, and in the following year, more than 263,000 units were sold, rewriting the “Excel myth”. In 2007, the American daily USA Today ranked the Excel among the top five cars that changed the lives of Americans, saying, “It has gained popularity as a product that is both inexpensive and practical.”
In 2005, 20 years after entering the United States, the company reached a turning point when it completed construction of its first local production plant in the southern state of Alabama. Hyundai has since worked to improve its perception in the US market from a “cheap car” to a “good car”. Cumulative sales reached 5 million units in 2007 and 10 million units in 2015. In 2011, on the 25th anniversary of Hyundai’s entry into the United States, the New York Times (NYT) referred to the state of Alabama and said, “Hyundai has revived a dead city.”
To date, the best-selling model in the U.S. market is the Avante (local name: Elantra). Sales began in 1991, and 3.53 million units have been sold by this month. This is followed by Sonata (3.14 million units), Santa Fe (1.91 million units), Accent (1.36 million units), and Tucson (1.34 million units). Unlike the early days when the company mainly sold small and medium-sized sedans in the US market, two sports utility vehicles (SUVs) (Santa Fe and Tucson) ranked in the top five in terms of sales volume.
Recently, the sales of eco-cars are conspicuous. The Ionic 5, which went on sale locally in December last year, has sold more than 20,000 units this year. A Hyundai official said, “We are focusing on sales of eco-cars such as electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid vehicles to lead the shift to electrification in the United States, which is one of the leading developed markets.”
In the meantime, Hyundai Motor held a groundbreaking ceremony for its electric vehicle plant, Hyundai Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), in Bryan County, Georgia, in October this year. It aims to mass-produce 300,000 units per year from 2025. “By 2030, we will increase the number of electric vehicle models to at least 17 models, accounting for 11% of the U.S. market and 7% of the global market,” said Jang Jae-hoon, president of Hyundai, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. .