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Hyundai, Kia notch records on Santa Fe, Soul

Hyundai was boosted by a 30 percent increase in August sales of the three-row Santa Fe.

Facing stock market turmoil and an unfriendly calendar, Korean siblings Hyundai and Kia still set monthly U.S. sales records in August on strong demand for crossovers.

Hyundai reported selling 72,012 vehicles for the month, a 2.9 percent increase, as Kia claimed 58,897 units sold, up 7.7 percent. Leading the way for Kia was the boxy Soul hatchback, which handily beat the Optima to become Kia’s sales leader.

“Kia has outpaced the industry all year, and that trend continued in August,” Michael Sprague, COO of Kia Motors America, said in a statement. “We set our fourth consecutive monthly sales record despite significant turbulence in the stock market and not having the benefit of Labor Day weekend sales.”

With a redesigned 2016 Optima due in U.S. showrooms this fall, sales of the midsize sedan fell 9 percent to 13,980 units in August. Soul sales rose 14 percent to 17,108 units for the month. The Sorento and Sportage crossovers also posted gains.

Through eight months, Kia’s yearly sales are up 5.4 percent.

Hyundai benefited from a 30 percent boost in sales of the three-row Santa Fe and an 18 percent gain for the two-row Santa Fe Sport. It also sold 6,609 units of the Tucson compact crossover, up 26 percent, in the redesigned model’s first month on sale.

Also today, Hyundai announced that Bob Pradzinski, its vice president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America, left the company effective Sept. 1.

The brand’s sales are up 2.5 percent for the year to date.

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com

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