Hyundai and Kia acquire record-high US car market share

Sales of cars and trucks in the US, the world’s largest automotive market, have been hit hard by the recession and global economic slowdown.

It has caused nearly a one third lower demand for new vehicles this year.

That was especially evident in the first two months of the 2009 when US, Japanese and European automakers experienced some huge decreases in their sales.

And while majority of carmakers have been loosing ground lately, there are some (Hyundai, Kia and Subaru) who have taken the financial crisis as an opportunity to grow.

Many car companies have cut their ad budgets during a recession, but recent study showed that increasing investment in advertising during times of economic difficulties can help boost sales and expand market-share in the long run.

And that’s exactly what Hyundai and Kia have been doing lately. None of the Korean automakers have stopped it’s advertising and it seems like both Korean carmakers, have upped their advertising budgets in America this year.

Particularly Hyundai, which has spent $ millions to present their latest range of cars to the public. Just remember their Superbowl commercial ads, aired during the Superbowl breaks, with an average cost of $3 millions (each ad). And they have aired some similar ads during the 2009 Oscars event as well.

Thanks to effective advertising campaigns, generous incentive programs and attractive product portfolio, Hyundai and Kia topped 7.6 percent market share in February 2009, which represents the highest monthly car market share Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group has ever held in the US market!


Kia Motors, which has been together with Subaru, the sole automaker in the US that saw it’s sales increasing in February, now holds 3.2% of the US market, while at the same time last year, the company had held less than 2% of the market.

Kia February 2009 sales have increased 0.4 percent to 22.073 units and the company is confident of having a bright future ahead. Kia has two brand new models on it’s hands right now.

First Soul crossovers have already been deliverd to the consumer, while Forte, another new model, will be joining the Kia range shortly. Both models are high-volume cars so we completely understand Kia’s optimism.

On the other hand, Hyundai experienced a slight drop in sales last month selling 30.621 units in the USA (-1.5%). But in spite of it’s sales decrease, Hyundai managed to increase it’s US car market share to 4.4% from last years 2.6%.

Chung Mong-koo, Chairman of Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group told in his speech during an annual shareholder meeting of Kia Motors, Hyundai-Kia will embrace the worst crisis the global automobile industry has seen in decades as an opportunity to boost sales and raise the company’s profile worldwide.

“The global auto industry is now in the midst of a fierce battle for survival. We will overcome the global auto crisis by putting our priority on increasing sales and investing heavily into research & development and improving quality” told the 71-year-old Hyundai-Kia Chairman. [Kia News]

19 thoughts on “Hyundai and Kia acquire record-high US car market share

  1. Cars like the Camaro and Challenger are low volume in the grand scheme of things. It’s vehicles like the Cruze and Malibu that will make or break them from a vehicles standpoint. From a sales standpoint, they have too much overhead. They can’t keep on producing the same vehicle over 4 different brands if they want to survive.

  2. Subaru has a cult like following and use niche marketing to sell vehicles. Subaru people tend to be very loyal to the brand. That’s why they have been relatively stable.

  3. The toyota’s are lasting too long so people do not have to replace them as much, also the prices have creept up in the past year, its very difficult to pay 350 a month plus 150 for insurance= 500 Dollars a month for car. Thats why Kia is worth the investment 10 year 100K Warranty.

  4. To achieve full success in the United States, Kia may need to acknowledge that U.S. needs and interests are now approaching those of Europe as downsizing, utility, and economy become important. Yet, Kia joins many manufacturers in offering trailer towing capacity in Europe but not here. If the Cee’d in Europe can tow 550 kilograms without brakes and 1200/1400/1500 kilograms (depending on engine size and type) why can’t the Soul tow in the U.S. and Canada. Expansion of the small car, used as a commuter and as a family car must be possible for utility, camping, or using a small boat. Could the Soul get so rated? For many of us it is a deal maker! And adding diesel would put the car in a class of its own!

  5. Towing capacity of the soul is 1300Kgs in Belgium… and are the Americans really waiting for 4-cyl diesels? I’m under the impression that many still think that there is no substitue for cu. inches. But it is true: the Soul CRDI is by far the best choice!

  6. Kia thinks that North Americans don’t want diesel engines, but that just isn’t true!

  7. Well they do realize that Greg and they are workin on it’s first one. But US emissionsstandards are set very high, if you know what I mean and currently their engines can not satisfy them – at least 3.0L V6 diesel doesn’t. So they are working on it and should bring it to the states by the 2010.

    Smaller diesel engines will likely not come to the US as their price is to high compared to the gasolines.

  8. Diesel is 2 cents less per gallon at the moment. Anyway, yes I know about emissions standards. They changed in 2007 and are changing again in 2010.

  9. Hyundai plans on bringing diesel SUVs and big cars, while KIA might actually be planning to bring a diesel Rio and SOUL over.

  10. Damm is diesel expensive her ein the US though. Thats why Diesel has never caught on here.

  11. It caught on but the freekin oil company thieves jacked the price to moon and then congress now has made it so expensive to formulate to meet the clean air laws, that its not cost effective. Why do you think the oil companies dropped the price of gas from 4 bucks to 1 buck? Because people stopped driving

  12. You got a point Greg. I went to the dealership today, and the SOUL is not only a great car, but its a big car. Its as tall as a Sportage, but Rio length, since they use the same platform.

  13. nice it is all becouse of the daily improvement of quality and RND at Hyundai

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