More than a half of new cars manufactured by South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia sold in US were sport utility vehicles, reaching the highest mark since its operation in the world’s second-largest auto market, the companies said Dec. 8.
Of the 1.2 million vehicles Hyundai and its sister company Kia sold as of November 668,328 units or 55.4 percent of the total were SUV, from 30.9 percent in 2013.
The number of SUVs sold by November already has surpassed the figure from the last year of 630,000.
The absence of an SUV lineup in US had been a weak point for Hyundai and Kia which had focused on sedans for many years, according to observers.
In 2017, Hyundai only had two SUVs -- Santa Fe and Tucson -- but added Kona and hydrogen-powered Nexo last year, followed by the Palisade and the Venue this year. Kia also added Niro two years ago and a large SUV Telluride this year. Hyundai’s Palisade and Kia’s Telluride are both listed as finalists of the Car of the Year in North America award’s SUV category. Their rival is Lincoln Aviator.
The companies are set to expand their SUV lineup with Kia launching small SUV Seltos in the first quarter of 2020 and Hyundai releasing the first SUV under its luxury flagship Genesis, GV80 also next year.
By Cho Chung-un/The Korea Herald(firstname.lastname@example.org)