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Hyundai Takes Pole Position In U.S. Sales Growth

Hyundai sales in the United States have jumped by a huge 41.7% over the past 12 months – seeing the marque take number 1 position in terms of annual sales growth.

Hyundai had sales of 346,235 for the calendar year, up from 244,391 in 2001. The strong result grew Hyundai’s total market share by 0.6% to 2%, catapulting it above Asian competitors like Mitsubishi and Mazda and local brands Mercury, Saturn and Oldsmobile.

“The result is a reflection of strong market demand,” says Hyundai NZ General Manager Philip Eustace. “The cars are selling as fast as they come off the ships.”

In fact, such is the demand for Hyundai in the American market, that dealers are pressing for the opening of a U.S. assembly plant – in order to counter the short supply.

Despite not having a local plant, Hyundai still scored highly in the recent 2001 Dealer Attitude Survey. The survey ranks marques in terms of dealer satisfaction with the manufacturer and of the 31 companies included; Hyundai scored an impressive 5th place.

“It is extraordinary to consider that Hyundai has scored well ahead of companies like Mitsubishi (16th) and Mazda (25th) in this survey – both of whom have been long-term players in the American market,” says Mr Eustace.

“And the two big guns in the U.S. market – Ford and Chevrolet – only rated 26th and 22nd in the survey, despite continuing to hold their traditional market share.

“The implications for the Hyundai brand are significant,” says Mr Eustace – who cites quality and value as being the key drivers for the brand’s ready acceptance in a market that is traditionally hard to crack.

“The Americans have obviously recognised the vast improvements in quality, technology and design – as is evidenced by both dealer acceptance and strong retail growth,” he adds.

“The challenge for Hyundai now is to meet the increasing demand and cement its growing reputation in the US market.”


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