The slowing global economy and a strong won are the main reasons the Korean automakers anticipate a cut in vehicle demand, though both expect a combined sales increase of 4.1 percent to 7.41 million vehicles this year. It will be the lowest growth since 2006.
The Korean automakers are battling against an appreciating currency – the won has appreciated more than any other Asian currency in the past six months. Last year, the automakers combined for an estimated 7.12-million vehicles sold, experiencing an eight-percent growth.
Analysts however say that Hyundai and Kia both provide conservative targets for sales and will likely continue to increase market share in Europe, as well as perform well in China. China is currently Hyundai’s largest market, accounting for 18 percent of its sales in the first nine months of 2012. The United States accounted for 17 percent of its sales in the same time period.
Kia on the other hand, has its largest market in the United States, where 21 percent of its sales are done. Korea is second, accounting for 17 percent.
[Source: Automotive News]
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