Combined U.S. sales at Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors fell 5.1 percent to 104,864 in July, with retail sales at Hyundai rising slightly to counter a sharp 51 percent drop in combined fleet deliveries at the Hyundai and Genesis brands.
Genesis, for the first time, topped J.D. Power's annual study of new-vehicle appeal, nudging past Porsche, while Mitsubishi, Dodge, Jeep, GMC and Toyota posted the biggest improvements. Chevrolet and GMC tied for top-ranked nonluxury brand.
Korean brands secured the top three spots in J.D. Power's annual report card on new-vehicle quality for the first time in the study's 31-year history. New quality at the Detroit 3 continues to improve faster than the overall industry.
As thorny as Genesis' retail rework has been, the U.S. dealer showdown is just one of many trials testing global brand chief Manfred Fitzgerald as he births a luxury brand. Zoom out to the global scale, and Genesis is clearly a work in progress on other measures, too.