Hyundai Motor Group Set a 3% Increase Plan for 2019
2019-01-24 11:48 Thursday
Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's auto giants, has just gone through another year of saggy car sales in 2018. Chief Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group Chung Eui-sun noted in his speech that the trade protectionism adds uncertainties to global markets and demands in major markets such as the United States and China stay low.
Hyundai Motor is mired in troubles in 2018: It missed a boom in sports utility vehicles (SUVs), faces potential U.S. tariffs and a U.S. investigation over how it handled a vehicle recall, and lost ground in technological advances such as self-driving cars. Hyundai Motor's stock has fallen as much as 4.2 percent to now.
"Business uncertainties are heightening as the global economy continues to falter. Walls of protectionism are being constructed around the world. Internally, we face challenging tasks such as stabilizing business in major markets like the U.S. and China, while simultaneously enhancing our responsiveness to drive future growth." Chung, 48, said in the company's new year ceremony.
Hyundai and Kia - together the world's fifth-biggest automaker - announced what they called a "conservative target" of 7.6 million vehicle sales in 2019, a 3% increase from the 7.399 million vehicles in 2018. To stimulate sales growth, the group said it would launch 13 new or face-lifted models in 2019, including a premium Genesis SUV and the Sonata sedan.
The 2018 sales failed to reach the automakers target of 7.55 million vehicles, marking their fourth consecutive annual sales goal miss. The duo sold 7.25 million vehicles in 2017. Morgan Stanley predicts that global auto production will fall 1% in 2019, which will be the first drop over the past 9 years.
"Hyundai will be launching new models, but competitors will be also doing so, making it difficult for Hyundai to increase shares in the sluggish markets in China, U.S. and Europe," said Sean Kim, an analyst at Dongbu Securities.
Chung revealed Hyundai's ambition for autonomous driving and claimed to launch a pilot service of its autonomous taxi in South Korea by 2021 and expand partnerships with leading players in that area.