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Half of Hyundai, Kia cars sold in US are SUVs

More than a half of new cars manufactured by South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia sold in US were sport utility vehicles, reaching the highest mark since they launched operations in the world’s second-largest auto market, the companies said Sunday.

Of the 1.2 million vehicles Hyundai and its smaller affiliate Kia sold as of November, 668,328 units or 55.4 percent of the total were SUV, from 30.9 percent in 2013.

The number of SUVs sold by November already has surpassed the figure for last year of 630,000.


(Hyundai Motor Co.)
(Hyundai Motor Co.)

The absence of an SUV lineup in US had been a weak point for Hyundai and Kia which had focused on sedans for many years, according to observers.

In 2017, Hyundai only had two SUVs -- Santa Fe and Tucson -- but added Kona and hydrogen-powered Nexo last year, followed by the Palisade and the Venue this year. Kia also added Niro two years ago and a large SUV Telluride this year. Palisade and Telluride are both listed as finalists of the Car of the Year in North America award’s SUV category. There are competing against Lincoln Aviator.

The companies are set to expand their SUV lineup with Kia launching small SUV Seltos in the first quarter of 2020 and Hyundai releasing the first SUV under its luxury flagship Genesis, GV80, also next year.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)
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