Hyundai’s combination of style and fuel economy appears to be paying off at the dealership level with the record sales allowing the Korean automaker to move past long standing industry top sellers. In fact, as of June, Hyundai has moved past Ford to become the fourth best selling brand in America when it comes to retail car sales.
That statistic does come with two important qualifications. First, “retail car sales” is a literal category and does not include truck sales; second, it also does not include fleet sales, which in some cases can be almost 40 percent of a brand’s total.
Some brands, such as Chevrolet, have fleet sales as high as 37%, while Hyundai boasts just 9 percent fleet sales. As a result, adding in fleet sales, something automakers are accused of doing to pad their sales numbers, does change the outcome significantly, dropping Hyundai to from fourth to sixth.
Speaking at a recent press event for the Veloster Turbo in La Jolla, California, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik acknowledged the extra-specific nature of this statistic, but fended off criticisms by stating that retail sales numbers are the very best evidence that consumers are responding to what Hyundai has to offer.
Sitting in fifth spot in 2011, as of June 2012 Hyundai’s retail car sales sit at 267,743 allowing the Korean automaker to move into fourth. In third place is Chevrolet at 290,107 units sold, with Honda in second at 350,827 units and in first place is Toyota with an impressive 446,459 units sold.
Moving up the ladder quickly, Krafcik isn’t ready to settle for fourth place either, commenting that Hyundai will likely surpass Chevrolet next year, making it the third best selling retail car brand in the country.