South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., are planning to sell 7.41 new vehicles (combined) globally in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 7.12 million vehicles they sold in 2012, Chung Mong Koo, chairman of both Hyundai and Kia said Wednesday in Seoul.
This is the lowest grown rate announced by Hyundai and Kia Motors since 2003, and is 50 percent lower from a year earlier.
The executive expects 2013 to be one of the most challenging year since 2006, when deliveries shrank by 1.2 percent; mostly because the domestic currency, the won appreciated more than 7 percent against the U.S. dollar and by more than 20 percent against the Japanese yen.
A strong won (currency) would make very difficult to compete with other Asian automakers like Toyota Motor Corp. which is expected to regain its crown as the largest global automaker. Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp sells 87% of its cars outside South Korea.
Of course a weaker yen will help Japanese automakers like Toyota and Nissan. Last week Toyota said it expects record sales in 2013, while Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co. CEO said the company expects 2013 to be “a year of growth”.
“2013 will be a very difficult year as the ongoing European crisis and the slowing global economy affect international and domestic markets,” Chung said.
Globally, the group witch form the world’s fifth-biggest car maker by sales, sold 7.12 million vehicles globally in 2012, up 8.1 percent compared to 2011.