SEOUL: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia on Tuesday forecast that their combined global sales will jump nearly 10% in 2023, even as last year’s sales fell short of target due to supply chain disruptions.
The companies sold 6.85 million vehicles in 2022, about 4% less than their combined target of 7.16 million vehicles, largely due to chip and component shortages as well as other problems.
They said they would target global sales of 7.52 million vehicles this year.
“Hyundai plans to expand market share and operate profitability-oriented businesses by flexibly responding to market changes, accelerating its transition to electrification, responding to global environmental regulations, and optimising production, logistics and sales by region,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement.
Analysts said the sales targets of the two companies for this year appear to be aggressive but achievable, considering pent-up demand for vehicles.
“Hyundai Motor and Kia are still seeing relatively higher back orders of vehicles and car buyers are still waiting in line to buy cars despite the recent economic environment … with that demand in the picture, the companies appear to be confident,” said Kim Gwi-yeon, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Kim, however, added that economic obstacles such as high-interest rates could dampen car sales, especially in the second half of the year after pent-up demand softens.
Shares of Hyundai Motor and Kia closed up 1.3% and 1.5% respectively, versus a 0.3% fall in the benchmark KOSPI index.
In October, Hyundai Motor cut its 2022 global sales target by about 7% to 4.01 million vehicles from 4.32 million vehicles.