Hyundai plans to sell 7 million cars in 2012 image

Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s two largest automakers, plans sell a record seven million cars globally in 2012 – up 6.1 percent from 6.6 million units it sold globally last year.

Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo, in a New Year’s message to employees, said the world’s auto industry would see growth stagnate this year and competition intensify as the downturn cuts demand.

“I expect the automotive industry to see growth slowing because of the European debt crisis and the global economic slowdown.”

“We should lay the groundwork to become a global leading player by firming up management,” he said, calling for closer cooperation between its sales and production networks abroad.

The Korean automaker also plans to increase the number of experts and expand investment in developing environment-friendly technologies and a high-end brake system.

Sales of Kia Motors, affiliated with Hyundai Motor Group, stood at 2,539,403 units last year, up 19.2 percent from a year before, with overseas and domestic sales surging 24.3 percent and 1.8 percent each.