Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors forecast global sales to rebound in 2017 by a stronger-than-expected 5%, after posting their first annual sales fall in nearly two decades last year.
Sales could get a lift this year but margins could come under pressure as Hyundai and Kia which together rank 5th in global sales plan to add capacity in China and Mexico.
78-year-old Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo said in his New Year message to employees on Monday that the company will launch more than 10 new models every year, including a new SUV for advanced markets and a Genesis G70 sedan this year.
The projected 5% rise in global sales for 2017 to 8.25 million vehicles easily beats the 1.9% rise forecast earlier by Hyundai Motor Group’s own think-tank.
Hyundai Motor likely clocked its fourth straight annual profit decline in 2016. Sales were hit by its sedan-heavy line-up, which meant it missed a boom in SUV demand, and sluggish emerging markets. Hyundai Motor sold 4.86 million vehicles compared with its target of 5.01 million last year. Kia Motors sold 3.02 million vehicles, shy of its goal of 3.12 million.
Hyundai Motor is now targeting 2017 global sales of 5.08 million vehicles, while its smaller affiliate set its goal at 3.17 million vehicles.