South Korea’s Hyundai Motor said on Thursday it aimed to boost its sales in Europe by 15.4 percent to 465,000 vehicles in 2012, , helped by the launch of its new i30 model.
The company added a third shift at its factory in the Czech Republic last summer to expand production.
Mr Allan Rushforth, CEO, Hyundai, said, “It’s very important for Hyundai to be successful. Europe is a top priority because it affects how the company is perceived elsewhere.”
According to Jessica Caldwell, Analyst, Edmunds.com, “Hyundai offers compelling design at an affordable price– a win-win for most consumers. Brand exposure has long been the problem for Hyundai, but that has certainly eased.”
Mr Richard Sanders, MD, Drivethedeal.com adds, “People just seem to trust VW more. But that’s changing. There’s nothing wrong with Hyundai product anymore.”
The company, which ranks fifth in global auto sales together with affiliate Kia Motors, expects global sales growth to more than halve this year.
Hyundai is targeting sales of 675,000 units this year in the U.S., which would be an increase of 4.5%. It plans to launch four new models there in 2012: the Azera sedan, the Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle, the Elantra Touring hatchback and the Elantra two-door sub compact.
Sister brand Kia targets 350,000 deliveries this year in Europe, a 19 percent gain from 2011, thanks to new versions of the Optima sedan and Cee’d compact, said Paul Philpott, the brand’s chief operating officer for Europe.