LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, may set an “all-time record” for U.S. sales in September owing to demand for its Sonata sedan, the company’s U.S. CEO said.
The month “looks fantastic for us,” John Krafcik, CEO of the Seoul-based company’s U.S. unit, said Thursday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “The industry looks decent -- I wouldn’t say great -- but I think we’re going to be fine.”
Hyundai’s U.S. sales rose 17 percent in the first eight months of the year, led by demand for the revamped midsize Sonata and new Tucson crossover vehicle. The company’s growth pace is more than double the 8.4 percent rise in industrywide deliveries through August, according to Autodata Corp. in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
Krafcik has said Hyundai’s full-year U.S. sales in 2010 should finally surpass its long-time target of 500,000 units.
The Seoul-based company has set “very modest” targets for the Equus luxury sedan that arrives later this year, Krafcik said. The company has said the V-8 engine car will sell for as much as $60,000.
“We recognize that’s a tough segment,” he said. “We’re going in with a 2,000 to 3,000 units a year sales objective, which would give us a 6 to 7 percent share.”
Hyundai entered the luxury auto market in the U.S. with the Genesis sedan and coupe in 2008. With Equus, the company is challenging a segment led by Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus, BMW AG’s BMW and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.
Asian carmakers including Hyundai and Toyota had the steepest U.S. sales declines last month, the slowest for August in 28 years. The companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of last year’s U.S. “cash for clunkers” program.
The plan offered as much as $4,500 for trading in older, less fuel-efficient vehicles for new models. Vehicles from overseas automakers such as Toyota’s Corolla were among the top sellers in the program.