Hyundai Motor unlikely to meet 2008 U.S. sales target
Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), South Korea's top auto maker, is unlikely to meet its U.S. sales target for this year as the U.S. financial crisis hit demand in the world's top auto market, a company president said.
Hyundai, the world's No.5 car maker along with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), still plans to go ahead with investment in new factories in Russia and Brazil as the outlooks for those markets is bright, Choi Jae-kook, a president of Hyundai's international sales, said late on Friday, reported Reuters.
His remarks were embargoed until 0100 GMT on Sunday.
"We will face difficulties in developed markets such as the U.S. and Europe. As all of you know, (the) credit crisis is much bigger than expected with a U.S. $700 billion bailout and worldwide rate cuts failing to help financial markets," Choi told reporters after unveiling the Genesis Coupe, Hyundai's first real-wheel drive sportscar.
Hyundai aim has been to sell over 500,000 vehicles in the United States in 2008, compared with 467,009 units last year.
Choi declined to provide a new sales target.
Hyundai sold 337,664 vehicles in the United States during the first nine months of 2008, 5.8 percent less than a year ago.
Earlier this month, Hyundai's vice president for Europe told Reuters the company expected its European sales to be flat at best this year as the overall market tumbles, slashing its forecast from the 18 percent growth projected at the beginning of the year.
The remarks come as global automakers have been riding on a bumpy road, especially in developed countries, as the global credit crunch hit financial markets and economic growth.