South Korea’s largest automakers, Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors, also the world’s fifth biggest carmaker when combined, have said this year’s delivery increase might be the slowest since 2003.
Both automakers, just exiting from a self-imposed factory expansion cap, say the predictions for 2015 are not very positive on capacity constraints and the fact that its traditional rivals – Japanese automakers – would more likely have an edge in crucial markets because of the lower yen currency. Hyundai and Kia, the fifth largest auto-making group by sales announced their forecast for the year stands at 8.2 million units. That would tally to a modest 2.5% increase over the figures reported in 2014 and translates into the weakest climb in 12 years, with sales rising 2% back in 2003. “Political uncertainty grows in emerging markets and competition is intensifying among automakers,” said the chairman of the family-run conglomerate, Chung Mong-koo.
The increases are also lagging the 3.9% expansion predicted by analysts for the overall global market this year and the internal experts at Hyundai predict continued strong competition from the Japanese rivals, as the country’s government will maintain its currency policy to boost exports. Hyundai is expected this year to launch two new key versions for the model lineup – the new generations of the Tucson sport utility vehicle and the Elantra compact.