Hyundai on track to meet 2012 sales target image

The South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor expects to achieve this year’s target of raising its global sales by 6 percent to 4.29 million vehicles Reuters reports citing CEO Kim Choong-ho.

The $54 billion carmaker said it expects to beat an aggressive sales target for Europe – of an increase of 15.4 percent to 465,000 vehicles this year – even though the market is seen falling 5 percent. Hyundai increased its European sales by 11 percent last year.

Hyundai isn’t concerned about stiffer competition from Japanese rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co. (7267), which are rebounding from last year’s natural disaster. The company plans to introduce five new models in the U.S., including the new Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle and a revamped Elantra.

Consolidated net profit for the three months ended March 31 rose to KRW2.452 trillion ($2.2 billion) from KRW1.877 trillion a year earlier, it said. Overseas sales rose 22%, while domestic sales fell 7.1% during over the same period.

The result was better than the average KRW2.06 trillion net profit forecast of 10 analysts polled earlier by Dow Jones Newswires.

Hyundai sold 4.05 million vehicles last year. The company said it boosted overseas sales by 14 percent, selling an estimated 730,000 units in China and 610,000 in India.