Hyundai Motor posted last month the first monthly global sales decline since July 2014, pushed down by slow demand in China, Brazil and Russia.
South Korea’s largest automaker, and the world’s fifth-biggest automaker, released its sales report for January and the figures are lower than Hyundai’s expectations. Its sales fell by 13 percent last month to 338,035 units, with domestic deliveries declining 1.1 percent to 49,852 units, while overseas demand dropped 14 percent to 288,183 units, according to a regulatory filing by the company on Monday. The sales slump follows Hyundai’s annual profit report, which marked eight consecutive quarters of falling profits and its lowest annual profit in five years in 2015, mainly because of weak cross currencies, increased promotional activities due to heightened competition amongst automakers and profit decline from non-auto business. Analysts said the slip from the last quarter of 2015 was because the company ratcheted up inventories and sales incentives as it increased the production towards the end of the year to stave off a drop in annual sales.
The automaker forecasts that this unfavorable business environment is likely to continue in 2016, with emerging markets including China – its biggest market by volume sales – to continue posting slower growths. Hyundai’s cumulative global sales for 2015 remained flat over a year earlier, with a total of 4,964,837 units delivered, aiming to hit 5.01 million vehicles globally in 2016. It plans to achieve its goal with new model launches such as the new Elantra, brand-new Ioniq offered in three eco-friendly powertrains (HEV, PHEV, Full-EV) and by its luxury brand Genesis.