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Hyundai, Kia to Sell Combined Record 8 Million Vehicles

Hyundai, Kia to Sell Combined Record 8 Million Vehicles

By Rose Kim

Hyundai and Kia said better-than-expected sales in Brazil, China and India will help them sell a record 8 million vehicles this year, even as a stronger won erodes profitability.

The Seoul-based companies’ global sales will beat their 2014 sales target of 7.86 million vehicles after selling 6.55 million units in the first 10 months, the umbrella Hyundai Motor Group said in an e-mailed statement today. Demand for SUVs including the Tucson and Santa Fe has helped drive deliveries.

The announcement comes as the automakers, both headed by Chairman Chung Mong Koo, are struggling with a stronger won that has placed South Korea’s exporters at a disadvantage to Japanese competitors, including Toyota Motor Corp., that are benefiting from the yen trading at a near seven-year low.

“The market still does not look rosy,” Chung said in the statement. “Let’s overcome the unfavorable market situation and show our automobile industry’s competence.”

Hyundai Motor shares were up 3.6 percent to 171,000 won as of 1:40 p.m. in Seoul. Kia slipped 0.5 percent while the benchmark Kospi advanced 0.6 percent.

The won gained 1.8 percent in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, the strongest performance among major currencies against the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The yen weakened 10 percent during the same period.